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Elite OT Lucas Simmons Sets Official Visit Slate, Commitment Timeline

Swedish standout playing in Florida has become one of America's most coveted tackle recruits

LARGO, Fla. -- As Lucas Simmons wrapped up his fifth spring practice at Clearwater (Fla.) Academy International on Tuesday, he couldn't recall just how many college football programs have already been by to see him. 

The spring evaluation period kicked off on April 15 and not long after, assistant coaches across the country have stopped in to see the 6'7", 299-pound left tackle projection native to Sweden. More than 30 programs have offered the rising-senior recruit, but some are still jockeying for position on the official visit front. 

The towering tackle, who has impressed on a national scale early in 2022, is fresh off of his first of five potential program-funded trips, to Oklahoma State, over the weekend. 

"It was unique, it kind of gave me more of a college town vibe," Simmons told SI. "It's not one of these big cities, like L.A. or Dallas, and it's not a bad thing. I liked how it is, it's compact and the guys had great team spirit.

"It's one of the places I hadn't seen but needed to see, so I'm happy I did that." 

The visit went through many settings, including a stop at head coach Mike Gundy's house. 

"Cool guy," he said of the Cowboy coach. "We went to his house. I talked to him a lot and he talked to my dad and his wife a lot, which I really appreciated. He wasn't just focused on me, he was asking about what they're comfortable with and where they see me going. 

"The best part is how they were interested in me and those around me, too." 

Simmons won't take another official visit for about a month, focusing on spring ball with his CAI Knights teammates as they prepare for one of the toughest schedules in the state of Florida. 

There are three more official visits recently set up shortly thereafter, however. Tennessee will host him the weekend of May 27 before USC June 17-19 and Florida State June 24-26. Simmons has been to each campus for an unofficial visit this spring already, but stands ready for a closer look. 

The Trojans may hold the coaching staff with the most total time in courting Simmons, though part of the recruitment began with coaches at other programs. 

"Coach (Lincoln) Riley offered me at Oklahoma, (Zach) Crabtree from Oklahoma State and (Josh) Henson from A&M -- so I knew the coaches," he said. "And everyone there knows USC is on the come up. Every coach, every player knows what the goal is.

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"The city is cool and all. I'm from Stockholm, which is kind of a big city as well, so it kind of reminded me of there. I wanted to see how I would fit into the city vibe because I've known the coaches for the last year."

FSU got Simmons' first trip following the February dead period and impressed. Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Alex Atkins was also back at Clearwater Academy to check in on one of the best in the region Monday.

"He's just an honest coach, really down to earth," Simmons said. "Some of these coaches want to boost you up and keep you happy, which I appreciate as well, but he's just really honest with me. He'll tell me straight like this, and he will always keep it 100 with me. 

"If I go to Florida State and have a bad practice, he will let me know about it."

Tennessee came into the picture for Simmons in January and has been pushing as hard as any program since. A spring practice visit in early April helped to lift the Volunteers into contention, thanks in large part to Josh Heupel's coaching staff ties to Oklahoma when Able Simmons, Lucas's father, played for the Sooners in the 1990's.  

"I really didn't know what to expect there," he said. "They came in during the January period and I clicked off with (Glen) Elarbee from the start. Heupel knew my dad from OU, the director of staff was a coach at OU, so there are connections as well. How they knew my dad is a crazy experience. 

"I just feel really good about it, I went there and clicked with everybody, the coaches, players and recruits. Now I want my parents to see it so they can see what I see."

With one official visit down and three more set, there is room for one additional official visit to be taken by the Simmons family before this recruitment comes to a close. Many programs have inquired about getting the final stop, including in-state Florida and Arkansas. 

Three of the last four national champions, Georgia, Alabama and Clemson, have also continued to communicate with the Simmons camp despite not extending an offer his way to date. An unofficial visit to each is possible in late May and/or early June, as Simmons participates in a bus tour of top programs with PPI Recruits. 

After the bus tour and remaining official visits, Simmons will go full evaluation mode ahead of a final decision. 

"Commitment time," he said with a smile. "The goal is for me to do it July or August, before the season. I want to have it out of the way before the season starts so I think I can feel comfortable with one school. 

"It's about the relationships for me." 

Lucas Simmons

Simmons has added good weight to a towering 6'7" frame