Offensive Line Recruiting
Class of 2023 four-star offensive tackle prospect Lucas Simmons tripped to Tallahassee this past weekend on March 5 for the Junior Day event at Florida State. The campus was loaded with talent, but there were few names bigger than that of the Swedish native, Clearwater (Fla.) Clearwater Academy International product.
Simmons was able to observe FSU’s first spring practice, hear from former alumni, tour campus, spend time with coaches in person, among other things. Simmons shared what stood out most to him on the day.
“Seeing spring practice for the first time and seeing how (Alex) Atkins and all the coaches are involved with the players, then hearing the alumni speak about FSU.”
The 6-foot-7, 300-pound pass-protector explained what it meant to him to hear from the former players.
“Of course, hearing alumni talk is cool because they are great players, but just hearing about how much Florida State meant to them really put things into perspective,” said Simmons. “Seeing some of the alumni that came to a spring practice at their school 20 years after they went here really meant a lot.”
During the practice portion of the visit, Simmons spectated offensive coordinator/ offensive line coach Alex Atkins and his unit to see first-hand how he works with his players.
“He was basically just like I thought he would be at practice,” said Simmons. “If he needs to yell at you, he will, but he will also take you aside and give you proper information, so he really wants to see everybody win. I didn’t see anybody in the O-line group excluded, and everybody meant just as much to him. It felt like the connection that they have on the O-line was really starting to show, and I think that’s because of Coach Atkins. He really cares about his players.”
Relationship with Atkins
FSU was one of the first programs to offer Simmons on May 21 of last year. He has now accumulated 32 offers in total, including major programs like USC, Oklahoma, Michigan, Florida, Miami, among others. Simmons expanded on the relationship that has continued to develop between Atkins and himself.
“It’s been real from the start,” said Simmons. “There hasn’t been a conversation or visit (to FSU) where I left feeling 50/50 about it. It has always been a great talk or visit and that consistency he always comes with means a lot to me. He’s a coach I believe I can talk to about more than just football. That’s something I look for in a coach.”
Simmons explained what he is looking for most in his future college.
“I want a place that can develop me more than just football, and they care about me more than just for football. Of course, I want to go to a school that will develop me as a player, but I don’t really care about the glitz and glamour, or the facilities, or that kind of cool stuff. I just care about finding a place where I feel at home, and I can develop at every aspect of life.”
Where does FSU stand with Simmons?
“They are up high. I don’t really have a set ranking, like a top 5 or top 8, but I know that is a school that I really like. I haven’t ever left there feeling bad about them, and I’ve now visited three times, plus a camp. I’m excited. I’m going to take an official there for sure. I don’t know what date yet, but I’m planning to get back up there a lot more.”
Other schools currently standing out include USC, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Baylor, and Mississippi State. Simmons said he plans to visit Florida in March, USC on March 25-27, Tennessee in April, and USF at some point.