HERO Sports is counting down the days until the kickoff of the 2018 college football season on Saturday, Aug. 25, by featuring the best player in the FBS at each jersey number, from 99-1. Each day, from May 18 through Aug. 24, we'll publish one article showcasing the best player whose jersey number matches the number of days remaining.
Jeffery Simmons is a 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle and plays inside but he isn't your typical defensive tackle.
The Mississippi State junior ranked fourth on the team with 60 tackles last year. A defensive tackle ranked fourth on the team in tackles. Among the 60 tackles were 12 tackles for loss and five sacks, both second on the team, and he leads all returning defensive tackles in the country for most career quarterback pressures (41), according to Pro Football Focus.
Simmons, a native of nearby Macon, Miss., was a five-star prospect in the 2016 recruiting class and second-ranked strong-side defensive end. He's now a stud on one of the best and deepest defensive lines in college football.
“There’s a bunch of guys up front where we can run eight, nine or 10 guys up front,” new defensive coordinator Bob Shoop said in March. “We have as much depth up front as any place I have ever been, and I don’t feel like there is a significant drop-off between those guys."
Shoop, referring to Montez Sweat, Gerri Green, Marquiss Spencer and others, arrived with new head coach Joe Moorhead from Penn State and takes over a unit that averaged 6.6 tackles for loss and 2.8 sacks per game last year.
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