As we inch closer and closer to the start of the 2020 season, we take an in-depth look at each player on the Mountaineer roster. In these breakdowns, we discuss what a stellar, standard, and subpar season would look like for them. We are going in numerical order, so today we begin with T.J. Simmons.
Since transferring in from Alabama, wide receiver T.J. Simmons has had some rather lofty expectations set by the fans. Of course, anytime you tag Alabama beside a player's name, that's going to happen.
Unfortunately for Mountaineer fans, he hasn't quite lived up to those expectations just yet. But in his defense, his first year he had to share the field with David Sills V, Gary Jennings, and Marcus Simms and in year two the quarterback play was extremely subpar. So far throughout his two year career in Morgantown, Simmons has hauled in 63 receptions for 796 yards and five touchdowns. Can he match those first two year numbers in his senior season? Absolutely.
At times, Simmons was unguardable in the slot and was the safety blanket for both quarterbacks, Austin Kendall and Jarret Doege. With a full year in Neal Brown's system, I expect Simmons to end up being the go-to target alongside Sam James. Those two guys on the field together will do a lot of damage and will warrant a lot of attention. Should Simmons put together a well-rounded season, he could very well play his way into an NFL Draft selection.
A stellar season for Simmons would likely mean he has become one of the top receivers in the Big 12 and is a threat to score at least once a game. He has the tools and the skillset to be a dynamic playmaker and if he can put it all together along with consistent quarterback play, Simmons could burst into stardom.
Simmons has always played well when he's not been the No. 1 option in the passing games. Having a guy like Sam James take the top off of a defense on a weekly basis helps Simmons thrive in the underneath and intermediate passing game - where he shines best. A standard season would mean he posted similar stats to his previous two seasons and being the No. 2 guy in the aerial attack.
The odds of Simmons having a "subpar" season are very low. He has come a long way since his arrival in Morgantown and it would be shocking to see him take a step back in his last season. However, a subpar season for Simmons would be falling down the depth chart and having the younger guys like Ali Jennings, Bryce Wheaton, and others play at a higher level than him.
My projected stats for Simmons: 51 receptions, 677 yards, 6 TD.
What type of season do you see T.J. Simmons having? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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