Long before he ever had a chance to make a name for himself as an up-and-coming football player in the SEC, Mississippi State signee Jeffery Simmons made headlines for the wrong reason. The five-star recruit was filmed repeatedly punching a woman on the ground that earned him a one-game suspension.
While many questioned whether MSU should have given Simmons a chance to redeem himself after the ugly incident, the freshman lived up to his recruiting hype and quickly developed into one of Mississippi State’s rising defenders heading into his sophomore season. Now heading into his first spring camp in Starkville, Simmons was asked about his experiences dealing with the aftermath of his poor decision.
“Basically I just used the help of my teammates, everybody around this university just to help me,” Simmons said Tuesday. “I just say I thank Coach Mullen, he was one of my leaders to help me, talk to me, everything will be good. Just focus on football.”
Simmons was then asked if it was difficult to block out all the noise surrounding him and the negative reaction to his one-game suspension.
“I did what I had to do on and off the field,” Simmons answered. “Just focus. That was the thing, and put it in God’s hands.”
The rising sophomore was then asked how remorseful he was for what happened during that tough-to-watch video.
“Like I said, I live and learn,” Simmons said. “If I could go back and re-do it all I could do it over again, don’t do what I did. Like I said, live and learn. So I regret doing it, but live and learn from it.”
While Mississippi State’s reaction to the Simmons’ video may have led to a head-scratching suspension, the young MSU defender has kept a low profile off the field since arriving in Starkville. Should he continue to do so, as well as continue to progress on the field, Simmons could be the latest example of a player worth giving a second chance.
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