Tyler Simmons, a 3-star receiver committed to Alabama, can’t fault UGA for going all out to change that this weekend on his official visit.
Simmons said UGA lined up all its coaches, professors and players this weekend and gave it more than the old college try to back him off his Alabama commitment.
“Georgia really tried their best,” he said. “They showed me everything there is to know about Georgia. All the pros. The cons. Everything really. … They really took their best shot at me.”
He said offensive coordinator Jim Chaney did two things. He showed clips of how he used the versatile Tyler Boyd at Pittsburgh this year.
“That’s as a Wildcat quarterback,” said Simmons, who feels that he could get on the field faster at UGA right now. “But then also at slot receiver and at outside receiver and even at running back maybe sometimes.”
He also showed him a PowerPoint presentation and mocked him up as hypothetical NFL draft pick with his size (6 feet) and weight (199 pounds) along with his 40-yard dash time of 4.3 seconds and his 41-inch vertical leap.
He then took all of that into account and said an NFL general manager would look at him as a possible fourth-round selection with those skill measures.
Then he laid out what new UGA receivers coach James Coley‘s job would be once Simmons arrives on campus.
“They said basically I am worth (a signing bonus of about) $500,000 right now. Their job is to make me move up. .. Their job is to move me up and it is specifically Coach Coley’s job to move me up and develop me more as a receiver to help me get better to move up.”
The 3-star receiver described Coley as a “tech guy” who shared his plans to implement drone technology into practice to capture more video angles to teach from. He even mentioned putting goggles on his players in a virtual reality teaching platform that’s a hybrid of a football lab and a video game.
He even said 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason jokingly told him he was disappointed in him for committing to Alabama. Those two got to know one another last month when Simmons was an unofficial visitor on Eason’s UGA official last month.
Terry Godwin, a 5-star recruit last cycle, hosted Simmons at UGA this weekend. UGA coach Kirby Smart rounded out the pitch with a clear message.
“He said basically they really want me at Georgia,” Simmons said. “He said there was no need for the talent to leave the state of Georgia. I would have a better opportunity there to play and they have a need for receivers right now.”
Yet Simmons — even after that best shot — made it clear he was still committed to Alabama.
“I’ve been telling everybody I am not de-committing unless they make me de-commit and give me a reason to de-commit,” Simmons said. “I am still really solid to Alabama and am looking forward to my official visit this weekend there to compare the two visits.”
He added that he isn’t sure whether he would take a fifth official visit to either Miami or Texas A&M on the weekend of Jan. 29. Simmons did say that it “for the most part” would seem that it will be an Alabama vs. Georgia race for his signature on that letter-of-intent in the end.
What could Alabama do to make him de-commit? He summed it up by saying that the Crimson Tide would need to leave him with the impression after his official visit that he wasn’t as needed in Tuscaloosa. He said if they were indifferent or didn’t really present him with a solid plan academically and athletically for how he would fit into their program that he would consider de-committing.
It sounds like UGA can’t do anything to overtake Alabama in this race. The Crimson Tide would have to let up recruiting him down the stretch.
“I am pretty big on being a man of my word,” Simmons said. “I am committed to Alabama. The only way I am leaving is if they made me,” Simmons said.
Unless otherwise indicated, all player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.