Back Taurus Simmons: “The Chaser”

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Taurus Simmons: “The Chaser”

By Barry Every
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As a sophomore Simmons recorded 38 tackles, seven TFL’s, five sacks and two FF’s. This past year he racked up 79 tackles, 19 TFL’s, seven sacks, three FR’s, two FF’s and added a scoop and score.

Oh how times have changed for Savannah (Ga.) Jenkins; in the six seasons spanning from 2004 to 2009 the Warriors went (21-41) with two playoff appearances. Each playoff appearance resulted in a complete whitewashing, falling by a combined score of 72-0.

What second year Head Coach Jason Cameron has accomplished should be considered astonishing; he has led Jenkins to a (21-5) mark. This includes back-to-back trips to the GHSA-AAA Quarterfinals and one Region Championship. The Warriors have gone (13-1) versus other Savannah City Schools and are now the he toast of the oldest city in Georgia.

One defender that has made an impact over the past two seasons for the Warriors is 6-foot-3, 195-pound junior hybrid defensive end/linebacker Taurus Simmons. As a sophomore Simmons recorded 38 tackles, seven TFL’s, five sacks and two FF’s. This past year he racked up 79 tackles, 19 TFL’s, seven sacks, three FR’s, two FF’s and added a scoop and score. Simmons finished the season second on the team in tackles for loss and sacks.

“This is a great kid that became a vocal leader for us as the year went on,” Cameron said. “He definitely leads by example on the field and everybody at the school likes this kid whether it’s the principal or the custodial staff. For us he was that impact player that comes off the edge; he is just so long and athletic.”

He currently hold two scholarship offers, one from Tennessee State and just this past week South Florida laid  claim to his services. Simmons is also receiving heavy interest from Army, Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh at this time. One local school he would love to hear more from is Georgia Southern.

“Simmons can take a bad angle and still track down the ball carrier; he is just great in space and opponents have trouble getting to the outside on his side of the field,” Cameron said. “More offers are on the horizon, after his USF offer I started fielding multiple calls and text messages about him. I really think he will blow up soon because his film matches what you see in person. He just needs to put on the weight and get stronger, then big-time programs will start calling.”

This past camp season he attended the Mercer Mega Camp, LaGrange Satellite Camp and Georgia State. While at the Mercer Mega camp he blistered a sub 4.6 40-yard dash which caught the attention of several schools in attendance. As of now Simmons plans on attending the same three camps this coming spring.

Academically he holds down a 2.9 core GPA while majoring in the Jenkins Engineering Program. Though only a first semester junior he has already taken Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Pre-Calculus. This coming semester he will finish off his requirements in foreign language (French) and Language Arts with one whole academic year remaining. He recently took the SAT for the first time and should be receiving his score anytime now.

When not lifting weights or going through football practice, Simmons participates in the Warrior Track Program. This spring he will be taking part in the 400-meters, 4x100-meters and the 4x400-meters. His personal best to date is 53-seconds in the 400-meters.

“I feel my speed allows me to pursue almost anybody we face, but I have to get bigger and stronger.” Simmons said. But it’s not just the weight room and practice that will make me a better player but continuing to do the work in the classroom.”

Making it to the quarterfinals is great but Simmons and his teammates want to take is a step further while recapturing the Region Championship, that means beating Savannah (Ga.) Benedictine. This past season the Cadets, who have won four straight Region Titles, were moved up one classification and put into the same Region as Jenkins.

“We will just have to work harder and stay disciplined in practice and in games,” Simmons said. “We also have to keep doing some of the same things and that means trusting our coaches. We have the athletes and serious size on the defensive side of the ball. Though we didn’t win our last game versus reigning State Champion Calhoun, we showed them we weren’t going to get run over.”

If someone outside of Savannah needs to know exactly how dominant the Warrior defense was this past season they only need to look at the 11.2 they gave up per contest. Jenkins pitched four shutouts and the 25 points rendered to Savannah (Ga.) New Hampstead were the most points they gave up all season long.

Simmons most likely projects as an outside linebacker with the skillset to wreak havoc in the backfield. But who knows, with his speed and length someone may find a place for him in the defensive secondary. This young man is a dynamic chaser with a chance to lead his current and future team to Championships.