Simmons picks Fuente, Tigers

Micah Simmons

Nothing about senior Lindale (Lindale, Texas) offensive lineman Micah Simmons' road to the University of Memphis was conventional. But, after switching his commitment from Arkansas State to the U of M on Wednesday night, he's OK with that.

Nothing about senior Lindale (Lindale, Texas) offensive lineman Micah Simmons' road to the University of Memphis was conventional.

But, after switching his commitment from Arkansas State to the U of M on Wednesday night, he's OK with that.

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Simmons, who had been committed to the Red Wolves since July, chose the Tigers after the new Arkansas State staff reneged on their official visit invitation.

For Simmons, that was all the confirmation he needed: Memphis was the right place.

"I'm 100 percent satisfied with my decision," said Simmons, rated a 2-star OL by Scout. "I feel like it worked out greatly for me. A lot of other kids might see this as a disappointment. But with the way I've grown up, with my standards, I see that God just opened up a great door.

"I was starting to follow that direction anyway; he just gave me an extra shove. I'm definitely excited to be a part of the Memphis program."

It was yet another sign that Fuente's Texas connections are paying dividends for the Tigers, who have hosted a litany of native Texans over the last several weeks. Simmons said Fuente's name carries significant weight in Texas high school circles.

"They definitely have an advantage in Texas," Simmons said. "Me and (offensive line) coach (Vance) Vice built a great relationship. (Defensive coordinator) Barry Odom recruited me when he was at Missouri. We were fired up to know that he came to Memphis. That was a big selling point for me.

"It's a family. That coaching staff is just a big family. I'm blessed to be able to spend my football career with them."

Simmons said that after the sequence of events in the last few days, he's done with the process. He said he'll take no more official visits.

Greg Powers, a recruiting analyst for Scout, said Simmons was one of the best in Arkansas State's 2012 class and that he has potential to make an impact with the Tigers.

"He's got the frame to add weight, but I think more importantly he's gonna grow naturally," Powers said. "He's got a nice physical package put together. Arkansas State felt like he was one of their better commitments. It's only going to help Memphis' efforts coming into Texas where there's a lot of hidden talent."

Simmons said he can play any position on the offensive line. He played center and tackle in high school but has been projected as a guard at the next level. At any rate, Simmons said he's simply anxious to get going and officially join the Memphis program on National Signing Day, which is Feb. 1.

"I didn't just settle with Memphis," Simmons said. "I'm fired up to be a Memphis Tiger. I was leaning that direction, and I'm starting to see that's where God wanted me to be."

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