UGA target waits for Florida offer after “Friday Night Lights”

Tyler Simmons (Andrew Leiva/Special for AJC)

Tyler Simmons on the left (Andrew Leiva/Special for AJC)

There’s no better example of just how unsure 4-star receiver Tyler Simmons of McEachern is about where he wants to play college football than his more recent visit to the Florida Gators’ “Friday Night Lights” camp.

“I didn’t have any other gloves with me, so I wore my Alabama gloves,” Simmons jokingly admits. “A couple of reps into the camp, one of the Florida players noticed and said, ‘Look, coach, the kid’s gloves’. So, coach (Kerry) Dixon came over to me and he was like, ‘I don’t even want to talk to you’”.

“I said, ‘Coach, I’m just waiting on some blue and orange ones.”

Simmons told the AJC that while he’s at the point that he’s narrowing down his select schools, a list that already includes finalists Alabama, UGA and Texas A&M – in no specific order. There isn’t one in particular that he feels stands out the most.

“I hear from (Alabama and Texas A&M) every day, and I hear from (UGA receivers coach Bryan McClendon) every day, so, there’s nothing different at this point,” said Simmons.

Simmons (AJC)

Simmons (AJC)

“I know Georgia wants me, but I don’t know if it’s any more than Texas A&M or Alabama.”

Contrarily, Simmons did offer up some praise to UGA for making a concentrated effort to recruit at the quarterback position after landing 5-star Jacob Eason and 2017 prospect Bailey Hockman. Both are rated among the top in the country for their respective classes, and Hockman plays with Simmons at McEachern.

Simmons says their commitments will play a “pretty big factor” in his decision-making process.

“I would like to play with some of the top quarterbacks to get me to the next level, and I know Jacob can help me get there,” Simmons said. “Playing with big-time quarterbacks is always good.”

While the 5-foot-11, 184-pound prospect says that he’s confident in the above mentioned schools, he isn’t ready to put all of his chips on the table.

“Originally, the plan was to commit around August 27, but looking at how I started to blow up, I started to think that I’m not going to be able to make a decision by then,” Simmons said. “Like I was telling my Dad, I just want to make sure I’m making the right decision before I commit.”

Playing into Simmons’ decision could be the possibility of receiving an offer from Florida, which could come as early as Monday, Simmons acknowledged to the AJC. He’s been in touch with Gators tight end coach Greg Nord since Friday, who conceded to Simmons that the coaching staff would sit down and have a meeting about offering potential out-of-state recruits early next week.

“The sooner they let me know the better so I can get that down on my list and maybe plan my trips back out there to get a better feel for it,” Simmons said.

While at Florida, Simmons was unable to speak to a majority of the coaching staff because he arrived late to the camp, but would welcome the chance to build some rapport.

Added Simmons: “I’m narrowing down, and I’m just trying to get as many visits as I can before next month.”

Simmons expects to make his decision in late August or early September.

— By Charles Kingsbury, Special for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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