McKeesport (Pa.) defensive tackle Delvon Simmons, who's rated the No. 80 player overall in the nation by rivals.com, gave North Carolina's recruiting class a huge boost with his commitment Wednesday on national signing day.
Here's what McKeesport coach Jim Ward said about Simmons in a telephone interview:
Q: Why did he choose UNC?
A: He thought the capus was absolutely beautiful. It was far enough away from home but not too far away from home. Butch Davis’ ability to develop defensive linemen was very important. The graduation rate of their players, and being able to play in a pure 4-3.
Q: How important was playing in the 4-3?
A: It was really important. There’s a lot of schools that are starting to get into the 3-4. But it’s such a contrast to the 4-3. And to me, Delvon’s God-given ability is his athleticism and his ability to get off the ball and be disruptive. And that doesn’t lend itself to playing in that kind of scheme.
We really were limited in the end to just a couple schools that ran a real 4-3, and that was USC and North Carolina. And that’s something that was important to Delvon, to have that opportunity to be a three-technique defensive tackle and do what he feels most comfortable doing.
Q: What’s he like as a kid?
A: He’s a great kid. He’s very engaging. He’s got an incredible personality, a laugh and a smile that kind of lights up a room. He’s a very, very fierce competitor, and he’s a kid that’s very easy to like. I think he’ll be well liked by his teammates. I think he’ll be popular among his teammates. And just overall has an outstanding personality. I think North Carolina is going to be really excited to get him.
Q: Physically, what are his assets? You mentioned his athleticism.
A: He’s a little over 6-feet-5. He’s about 275 pounds. He’s got a frame in which he’s probably going to grow to about 300 pounds, or maybe a couple pounds more. Very long arms. Very explosive. And just is a kid that when you see him and you see him at 275, you think he’s probably 250 until you put him on the scale. That’s the kind of size that he has.
Ken Tysiac has covered the ACC in the Raleigh Bureau of The Charlotte Observer since 2003. He spent eight years in South Carolina covering Clemson, first with the Anderson Independent-Mail and later with The (Columbia) State. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1991.