Jeffery Simmons was given a second chance at Mississippi State, and hasn’t forgotten everyone who supported him throughout his college career.
The junior defensive lineman made that clear in a tribute video released Thursday in which he declared for the 2019 NFL Draft but announced his plans to play in the Bulldogs’ bowl game. But those revelations fade into the background of Simmons’ heartfelt letter to Mississippi State, which the school posted on its website and Simmons tweeted in the awesome video below.
Simmons thanked everyone involved at the university, from teammates and coaches to his professors and academic support staff. They all helped him become a potential first-round NFL draft pick after his breakout sophomore season and junior year in which he finished tied for fourth in the SEC with 14.5 tackles for loss.
But Simmons’ start in Starkville was a bumpy one as he was briefly suspended after video surfaced of him punching a woman in a March 2016 incident. But the Bulldogs gave him a chance to prove himself, and that’s surely part of why he intends to play one last time in the Outback Bowl, as he revealed in the moving closing statements of his letter:
“I have always been a man of my word, and I will always finish what I start. Therefore, on New Year’s Day, I will wear Maroon and White one last time with my brothers and play in the Outback Bowl in Tampa. There’s a saying about the Mississippi State family: ‘Wherever you go, we go with you.’
“I know you will be with me every step of the way, wherever this journey my take me. Thank you. Hail State forever.”