Pleasant Grove (Ala.) High featured a solid one-two punch at running back last fall with senior Charles Buchannon and sophomore Brandon Simmons giving defenses fits. However, with the elder back departed, Simmons is expected to take the next step in his development this fall.
The big back’s recruitment is also expected to pick up, and a sign of perhaps things to come took place Saturday, when he checked out the University of Alabama.
“It was very nice and cool, I had the chance to meet some of the running backs and some of the coaches,” he said. “I talked to Coach (Kevin) Steele and Burton Burns. We watched the team practice, went on the field to talk to the coaches and we went to the office to talk to Coach Burns.
“He just told me what he looks for in a ‘Bama running back and that he likes my size. I measured in at 5-foot-11, 216 (pounds).”
During the practice, actually Alabama’s latest fall camp scrimmage, Simmons kept an eye on his position, of course.
“I was watching Derrick Henry during the scrimmage, he stood out,” he said. “I didn’t know he was that big in person, and they didn’t run the ball a lot, but he was catching the ball well and blocking well. (Quarterback) Blake Sims was also doing good today.
“We talked to Henry, he just told me to keep it up, so that was cool.”
Simmons doesn’t yet have a verbal scholarship offer to his name, but he says Louisville, Duke, Georgia, Tennessee, Georgia State, North Alabama and Nebraska are recruiting him early on, with the Cornhuskers likeliest to offer him first based on what he’s being told.
BamaMag/Scout will have much more from Simmons as he takes the next step on and off the field in the coming months.
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