If Jeffery Simmons’ position coach is to be believed, the former 5-star defensive lineman is hindered more by a nagging ankle injury than he is by the negative narrative surrounding his enrollment at Mississippi State.
According to Michael Bonner of The Clarion-Ledger, new Mississippi State defensive line coach Brian Baker says Simmons is ready to move on and play football in spite of all the attention surrounding a video which showed him striking a woman multiple times.
Simmons was slapped with a one-game suspension and is expected to be allowed to play football this fall, a decision for which Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen has taken much criticism this off-season.
Now that he’s enrolled on campus and fall camp is under way, Bell says Simmons is trying his best to put the headlines out of his life. And so far, none of it has carried over onto the practice field.
“If it was a situation where he was reacting to every time something comes up, then yeah, a lot of stuff,” Baker said, according to Bonner’s report. “But he hasn’t done that, which I think exhibits a tremendous maturity level for a kids his age. I was really pleased with that, pleasantly surprised, to be honest with you.”
Bell, who was hired a month after signing day, went on to tell the media that “you guys have had more stuff involved with him off the field than he has.”
Bonner reports that Simmons has been bothered by an ankle injury that is limiting his capabilities.
“He can’t really blow and go the way he wants to and the way he’s used to just yet. A little bit of that is us nursing him though,” Baker said, according to Bonner. “That’s what’s he frustrated with. The other part, he’s dealt with.”