Darrell Simmons, the 6-foot-1, 201-pound three-star safety from Banneker High School in College Park, Ga., has narrowed his choice to five schools from among approximately 30 scholarship offers - and now he has a favorite.
"I like Miami, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and Tennessee," said Simmons, Scout.com's No. 37 safety nationwide. "Miami is number one."
Simmons, also ranked No. 140 in the Southeast by Scout.com, says that growing up, he always favored Miami. "I used to tell my parents when I was kid that I was gonna go there," he said. "So when they finally offered me I was really excited. Getting an offer from Miami makes you feel like you've accomplished something."
He plans to attend the 'Canes first home game on Sept. 1 against Marshall, but has not scheduled any official visits yet.
Despite his love for Miami, Simmons admits that Alabama is the school that is recruiting him the hardest. "It's a great place. I loved it there," Simmons said. "The atmosphere is nice and everybody is into it. Everyone loves Alabama football there.
"I was supposed to visit Tennessee last weekend, but wasn't able to make it," he said. "But I really like the program there. Eric Berry (Vols freshman defensive back) is my homeboy. I grew up with him and we're really close. He says that the Tennessee coaches are really hands-on and that I would love it there.
"He says that the transition from high school to college isn't that bad, but that college is all about speed and hard work. He says that you have to work hard every single day."
In addition to the SEC teams that Simmons is considering, he also has a couple Big Ten powerhouses on his list. "Michigan has a great team every year and so does Ohio State," he said. "They both send guys to the NFL every year and are very competitive."
Banneker High School plays their first game on August 24 against LaGrange Troupe County.
He reports a 2.4 core GPA and a 15 ACT, which he plans to retake in September.