“It was so good. I had a really good image of them,” the Sweden native told Volquest. “I had a good feel for them but being able to spend some time with the players, coaches and recruits – it meant a lot to me.”
Simmons attends Clearwater Academy International in Florida and has only been in America for a little over nine months. Amidst a time of uncertainly in a new place, recruiting has taken off. Vols offensive line coach Glen Elarbee has been working this one hard and it appears his past weekend went well.
“He’s so genuine. We got along from the start,” the 2023 prospect said of the coach. “I thought he was really good, but he kept becoming better and better. I’m really comfortable with him.”
Simmons arrived in Knoxville on Friday and was here to take in Saturday’s scrimmage. The three-star runs a similar system at the prep level, but it was a good experience for him to get an up-close shot at what Tennessee’s offense is all about.
“Something that really impressed me was no huddle and how fast they got to the line,” the offensive lineman said. “Something else was the attitude the whole team kept throughout the practice because it was raining, sleeting and then it was sunny – all in the span of about an hour. They were all bouncing around and happy to be there. It was a really good atmosphere.”
The weather was a bit odd on Saturday – even for East Tennessee. It was chilly and overcast in the morning before a mixture of snow and sleet arrived just I time for the start of the scrimmage. But oddly enough, it reminded Simmons of home.
“I loved it. It was good because it reminded me of Sweden. The hottest it got was 70. When we were watching the baseball game, it felt amazing,” the prospect reflected. “The snow did not bother me at all. To me it was not a problem – I enjoyed the weather.
“This weekend was crazy because we had all four seasons in one hour.”
Now that the offensive tackle has seen Knoxville, he’ll begin the official visit process soon. He’s already got three locked in and plans to return to Tennessee on the weekend of May 26. Others as of now include Southern Cal in June and Florida State in late July.
Following his official visits, Simmons hopes to take some time to think everything over before coming to a final decision sometime in late July or early August.
“Man, it was more than I thought it would be,” the prospect said of the Tennessee visit. “The thing I’m looking for in a college is relationships. The thing that stood out to me was, I didn’t have one single conversation where I felt bad about a single person.
“They all know what they are trying to build and it’s just a great atmosphere to be in, to be honest.
And there’s some obvious connections already between Tennessee and the three-star.
“It was great catching up with him. We facetimed my dad when I was talking to him,” Simmons said of Josh Heupel, who played at Oklahoma with his father. “It’s crazy how [special assistant to the head coach] Billy Ray Johnson coached my dad as well.
“To be able to talk to these guys that I have a connection with, without even knowing, is something that stands out so much to me. I really liked talking to coach Heupel and the coaching staff for sure.”
Tennessee jumped in the game later on in the process for Simmons but are firmly in the running here. The official visit in May will go a long way – one way or the other.
For sure, he's got a similar frame and athleticism. Agree on the future of the OL - looks promising especially if we land a bigtime class this year to stack on top of 2022's Grant/Nichols/Reddick/Clipper.
Florida offensive lineman Lucas Simmons was the player that Tennessee made the biggest impression with last week. Tennessee, FSU and USC are the top three for him as of now. He has been to Florida State the most but people we spoke with believe Southern Cal is Tennessee’s biggest competition. -VQ