Unsigned Michigan State Commitment Jordon Simmons Comments on Mel Tucker, More
John Garcia, Jr.
There is just one class of 2020 verbal commitment to the Michigan State Spartans who did not sign a Letter of Intent for the program in December or February -- Jordon Simmons.
The senior Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern running back has been pledged to the Big Ten member since October and hadn't explored any of the additional 20 or so schools having offered him a scholarship since then. He took an official visit to East Lansing late in the process while Mark Dantonio was still the head coach. There were no indications he would be stepping down just as the month of February began.
Simmons' surprise led to him taking a step back from making things official with the program without a clear timetable for signing with the Spartans or with anyone else. He and his family thought they were done with the college football recruiting process while on campus together in January.
Shortly after the news of Dantonio retiring went public, Simmons' brother Tyler expressed understandable frustration with the timing of the coaching change.
Yet Simmons hasn't backed off of the verbal commitment status with the Spartans. He confirmed to SI All-American other programs have since been in contact, however. There is no timetable for his signature to end the process officially and the NCAA dead period spanning the remainder of February will prevent him from making any visits to other programs until March.
"Virginia, Middle Tennessee, UNC-Charlotte, Abilene Christian and Oklahoma State," Simmons said when asked which programs he has communicated with.
Then late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, following coaches like Cincinnati's Luke Fickell and Pitt's Pat Narduzzi publicly shooting down rumors of taking over, news broke of Colorado's Mel Tucker agreeing to take the job despite reportedly turning it down initially.
Simmons says it doesn't hurt MSU's chances of eventually signing him. Under Tucker, Colorado offered him earlier in the process on April 26. Despite familiarity, the recruitment is likely to continue moving forward.
"I think it’s a good hire for the program and he’s going to turn the program around," he said Wednesday morning. "It does make me more at ease knowing who the coach is but I’ll probably hold off a little bit longer."
Simmons would add that he is "not sure" if his timeline will extend deep enough into the spring in order to take visits to additional programs considering bringing him in late.
The Peach State running back prospect, who combined for 2,200 yards and 33 touchdowns rushing as an upperclassman, is one of several notable prospects left unsigned in the senior class beyond National Signing Day.