The Orange welcomed transfer Jason Simmons from New Mexico State to the secondary this season. Simmons, a 6ft, 195lbs, defensive back started eight games in 2019 at New Mexico State. The defensive back had a total of 62 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 3 pass breakups, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Although Simmons is not a starter on the depth chart which was released Monday morning, we can expect to see a lot of him this season, Dino Babers said.
“Honestly, I just want to make sure whatever I am asked to do when I get my opportunity, I can do what I need to do to help the team,” Simmons said. “So just focusing in and being 1 of 11.”
Simmons' season was canceled at New Mexico State last year due to the pandemic. After spending a year away from the game he loves, his approach to now being at Syracuse is a grateful one.
“Everyday it’s a privilege," Simmons said. "I’m just appreciative of the opportunity to be back on the field.”
The facilities, coaches, and city of Syracuse all attracted Simmons in making his decision to come here. In this star studded secondary, Simmons believes the Orange can go three deep into its depth chart. Improving in certain facets of the game is what Simmons honed in on in his year away from competing. A sure tackler, Simmons wanted to work more on his speed and coverage this offseason to become a complete all around defensive back.
The goal for Simmons is to play in the NFL one day, which runs in the family. Simmons is the son of Jason Simmons Sr., who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1998 and then played for the Houston Texans from 2002 to 2007. His father is currently the defensive pass game coordinator and secondary coach for the Carolina Panthers.
The exposure to the NFL at a young age, led Simmons to seeing a future for himself in the league.
“Being able to see that at a young age, it gives you an extra push to see how the pro’s work,” Simmons said. “Just being able to meet those guys, it’s humbling.”