June 29, 2010

Empire State DE talks Orange verbal

White Plains (N.Y.) Archbishop Stepinac defensive end Donnie Simmons did not waste much time in the recruiting process once he was offered by the Syracuse Orange.

"I have committed to Syracuse, I committed today," Simmons said Tuesday evening. "Actually I went over there and verbally committed when I was visiting the campus. The coaches were very excited they said it would be great for their team and their organization. They think that I can help the team very well. It made me feel more comfortable that I was actually going there."

Simmons, 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, was a prospect that was on the rise, but it was the Orange offer that changed his mind about seeing the recruiting season through.

"They offered me a month ago. I thought wow it is Syracuse. I never thought any school that big would offer me. At the time I was thinking I was going to go to a small division one school, but when Syracuse came in that was a whole new step. I felt very proud that I have taken advantage of that.

"Syracuse has a lot to offer not only for football, but for education. I am thinking about majoring in communications and their communications school is the best in the nation. I figured I could make a great life on that. The whole football program is very well suited and the coaches are very welcoming to the players. I feel very comfortable being in that Syracuse family."

The communications school was the top reason for Simmons picked Syracuse.

"The most important factor I think was when I saw the communications building and how well the education was. I know I am not going to play football forever, so I feel the education is the most important thing."

On the visit to Syracuse the coaches also played a huge part in the decision and not just because of how they coached. The Carrier Dome was another eye opener.

"When I went up there what was so special was the coaches being very fond of me and they were very open with me and my family. That was important to me because I want coaches to actually care for me to be there and look out for me when I am there, be more than a number," Simmons said. "The Carrier Dome was pretty amazing. The Dome was just unbelievable and to just imagine all the seats filled and everybody screaming at the top of their lungs was amazing. The history was amazing to there are so many famous people who went there not just in sports, it is overwhelming."

A commitment was not guaranteed to happen when the Simmons family headed up to Syracuse, but there was a thought.

"I think when we were closing in on going up there we were thinking about committing, but our decision was really made officially officially no doubt about it when the coaches took us around the tour of the campus."

The Orange are looking for the two star prospect to play defensive end and he feels that he will be a great fit for the scheme.

"They are looking for me to play defensive end. They run a 4-3 and I will be important to that because I will be the defensive end that will be coming outside. I am that outside defensive end that can run down the line because of my speed. This is a speed team and speed kills, so that's the game plan."

Besides Syracuse there were a few programs that were close to offering and a couple other programs that did offer.

"I only had other offers from Akron and Ohio. Connecticut and Rutgers were on the verge of offering. They were showing a lot of interest and they wanted me to come to their camp. Other than that there was Buffalo, Maryland, and some other schools like that were coming in talking about offers."

This was the fourth commitment for the Syracuse Orange during the 2011 recruiting season.

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