Alabama commit Tyler Simmons a big deal despite 3-star rating
Alabama’s Jan. 2 commitment of three-star receiver Tyler Simmons (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern) was not met with a ton of fanfare, but when you take a look at the film, several things stand out about the prospect.
It doesn’t happen very often given the nature of modern recruiting coverage and the fact that the Crimson Tide has signed five top-ranked classes in a row. There’s a lot of attention paid to whom Alabama offers and from whom accepts commitments. But this could be a big “steal” as it relates to the perception a prospect has with regards to a star rating lower than four.
Here are three bullet-pointed reasons why Tide fans should be excited about Simmons.
- His size/speed ratio is very good. Simmons is listed at 5-foot-11, 194 pounds and lists a 40-yard dash time of sub-4.4 seconds, which is flat-out moving for his size. His football speed also is evident when you watch the film.
- He can accelerate. On the film, when you see Simmons hit the corner or find a crease, he’s extremely difficult for players to catch. Given that McEachern competes at one of, if not the, highest level of high school football in the state of Georgia (among the best in the entire country), it’s clear he’s not just doing that against overmatched competition.
- He’s versatile. Simmons plays a “slot” type of position for McEachern. They hand him the ball from scrimmage as well as throw it to him. If you’ve noticed some of the things Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has tried to do with Kenyan Drake in recent years, then you’ll notice that Simmons has a similar skill set, even though he’s more receiver than running back while Drake is the opposite. He’ll remind you a lot — and I mean a lot — of Clemson sophomore wide receiver Artavis Scott, who was an All-American, four-star prospect out of the state of Florida two cycles ago.
On top of everything else, McEachern is one of the top talent-producing schools in the Atlanta area. Given that there will be plenty of interesting recruiting battles in the ATL and the Peach State as a whole between Nick Saban’s Alabama and Kirby Smart’s Georgia in the coming cycles, including this one after Monday’s championship game when Smart will become the full-time Bulldogs head coach, it’s never a bad idea to lock down a prospect from a top high school.
The hunch here is that the Tide and Dawgs will be fighting more than their share of recruiting battles in the coming years in this area.
Simmons is the No. 63 wide receiver prospect nationally in the 2016 cycle per 247Sports Composite rankings. He was recruited to Alabama by assistants Bobby Williams and Billy Napier.