Georgia Tech’s cornerback depth has been considerably augmented with the addition by transfer of Lamont Simmons. So says Simmons’ high school coach (though not quite in those words).
“Long and rangy,” said Deran Wiley, Simmons’ coach at Raines High in Jacksonville, Fla. “He’s a prototypical corner.”
After redshirting his first year at USC, Simmons transferred to Tech this summer and will sit out the 2015 season. He will have three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2016. Tech recruited him out of Raines, where Simmons was offered by Auburn, Georgia, Michigan State and Penn State, among others.
Wiley said that after a year in Los Angeles, Simmons wanted to be closer to home. Tech was a leading option, as A-backs coach Lamar Owens, who recruits Jacksonville, had pursued him out of high school.
“I think he’s always been a fan of Georgia Tech,” Wiley said. “They were on him early. The coaches did a great job of recruiting him. They established a great relationship with him during his recruitment.”
Simmons is 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds may still be growing, Wiley said. Further, he can “run like the wind.”
In spring practice at USC, Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian said he was a good fit for man-to-man coverage “because he’s got length, he’s got speed. We’re starting to see more of the assertiveness, the physicality and the confidence.”
Tech has added size to the cornerback spot. Incoming freshman Dante Wigley is 6-1, 183. Fellow freshman Dorian Walker, if he plays at corner, is 6-0, 175. The difference is an inch or two in most cases, but they’re the three tallest cornerbacks on the roster. Following the graduation of four of Tech’s five starting defensive backs after the season, the secondary figures to have ample competition going into spring practice in 2016. Tech coach Paul Johnson intimated that the staff wasn’t necessarily looking for another cornerback in that class, but “I think anytime you can get a good player, you take him.”