Simone taking advantage of opportunities

Kasen Williams gets the attention, but Jordan Simone is the one that is making teams pay for the attention they give the U.S. Army All-American. As a result, colleges are picking up their interest in the 6-foot, 185-pound athlete from Skyline High School in Sammamish, Wash.

"We go back and forth," Simone said of his 'touchdown battle' with Williams. It's a contest between the two Spartans, and each tallied twice in Skyline's Friday night rout of Jackson 56-3. "It was their homecoming and they had a 'Smash the Spartans' sign up for the second half, and they didn't go through it. They went around it," Simone added.

The 'battle' currently stands at 10 touchdowns each, although Simone swears that Williams might be trying to snake an extra score to push himself up the leader board. "I'm gonna have to call him about that," Simone said with a laugh. It's a good-natured contest, but make no mistake - they are playing for keeps.

Against the Timberwolves, Simone had four catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns. That means for the season, he has 32 catches for 726 yards and 10 scores. Clearly Simone has benefitted from teams focusing their efforts on Williams, but to his credit, he's taken advantage. "We knew that I would get a lot of single cover, so it was time to go to work," he said, matter-of-factly.

Simone, the younger brother of current Washington State receiver Gino Simone, saw his brother go through the recruiting process, and he has no greater advocate than his brother when it comes to pursuing his own college dreams. "Me and my brother are so tight," Jordan said, noting that Gino is always leaving him messages on Facebook, making sure he knows he's got a home in Pullman if he ever wants to go there.

"I'm just taking it as it comes," the younger Simone said when asked about the recruiting process. "But it would be nice to go to Washington State and play and live with my brother. I'm still keeping an open mind."

Besides the Cougars, Washington and Idaho are also keeping tabs on the season Simone is having. The Vandals definitely have Jordan's interest. "I really like coach (Robb) Akey and their wide receivers coach (Luther Carr)," he said. "They are really down to earth people.

"All the coaches are, really. If I have a question about recruiting, they'll tell it to me straight."

Simone is playing both ways for the Spartans, joining Williams in the defensive backfield, but he expects to play offense in college. "It's just nice to get more calls, definitely hear from more coaches," he said. "It's nice to be recognized. I think a lot of schools are waiting to see my senior highlight tape. Hopefully a scholarship comes."

In the meantime, Simone is going to stay on the field as long as he can to help the Spartans win their fourth-straight state championship. At 5-1, their lone blemish came in week one against Liberty, but they came back strong with wins over Lake Oswego and Bellevue, among others. "We put in a completely new defense since," said Simone.

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