It is not often that players with talent go unnoticed, but that was the case for Tyler Simmons. The junior played sparingly on the varsity squad during his sophomore year and was not given much attention by college recruits. However, after attending a combine at Penn State University where he clocked a blazing 4.32 40-yard dash, that talent was realized as Simmons began receiving attention from Division-I schools throughout the country.
With the likes of Tennessee, Penn State, Auburn and Georgia Tech displaying interest for the junior from New Manchester, it motivated him to step up his game.
“Once I came back from Penn State and told my team (about the 40-time), a lot of people were excited and that pushed me to work even harder,” Simmons said. “Now you know that you have a lot of teammates are looking at you as a leader and (they) want to be in your spot.
For Simmons, he credited that unprecedented speed to his work on the track team. The speedster began running track in seventh grade and started seeing success in high school, reaching the state championships in the 200-meter while also competing in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400. That speed translated to the gridiron as the wide receiver was a key piece in a Jaguar offense that averaged 29 points per game.
Outside of his natural ability, the junior is a leader among his teammates, a role that Simmons fully embraces. “Leader is a natural role for me,” said Simmons. “I just like leading the team to whatever we need to do to win the game.” Alongside handling his work on the field, the performance in the class is even more exceptional.
An honor student, Simmons excels in the classroom and takes part in DECA club, an organization that prepares leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. When it comes to career choices, he hopes to work in physical therapy, sport medicine or computer engineering.
It seems that no matter what journey Simmons ventures into with athletics or a career-choice, he will work to be successful.