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Mississippi State Defensive Tackle, Projected First-Round Draft Pick Jeffery Simmons Tears ACL

The defensive tackle spent three seasons at Mississippi State before departing to prepare for the 2019 NFL draft.

Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons–who had already been informed that he would not be invited to the NFL combine– tore his ACL last weekend while training for the upcoming 2019 draft and will undergo surgery early next week as a result. Simmons announced the injury on Twitter on Tuesday.

The junior lineman was widely considered to be a potential top-15 pick in April's draft, but will now need significant time to recover and rehabilitate after surgery, which could impact his rookie draft.

"As you all know, I have been preparing for the 2019 NFL Draft," Simmons wrote. "Unfortunately, I tore the ACL in my left knee when I was going through position drills this past weekend while training in Boca Raton, Florida." 

He continued: "I will undergo surgery early next week and then begin the rehab process. I am going to come back stronger and more determined than ever. If it is in God's will, no matter which team drafts me this April, I will work extremely hard to get healthy and become a leader in that organization."

Simmons was one of two players, the other being Colorado State wide receiver Preston Williams, who was not going to be invited to the combine due to the league's rule, implemented in 2016, regarding invitations to players with previous issues of violence. The same year the rule was implemented the Macon, Miss. native was seen on video striking a woman. He was arrested and later pleaded no contest to simple assault.

Mississippi State suspended Simmons for one game but allowed the 6'4", 300-pound tackle to enroll anyway. 

During his three seasons with the Bulldogs, Simmons tallied 163 tackles, seven sacks and four forced fumbles in his career. Simmons recorded 63 tackles and two sacks in his final season in Starkville.

Simmons played in all 13 games last season for Mississippi State during the team's 8–5 campaign. The Bulldogs season concluded with a 27-22 loss to Iowa in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day.