October 28, 2011

Are the Buckeyes still in it for Simon?

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The Ohio State coaching staff hasn't had much success recruiting outside the state of Ohio in the 2012 class. The off-field distractions have certainly hindered the ability to go out and land players from around the nation but one player that the Buckeyes are still heavily pursuing is St. Petersburg (Fla.) Gibbs star Gary Simon. The 6-foot-1, 177-pound athlete is being recruited as a defensive back by Ohio State. The Buckeyes have already extended an offer to Simon and on Wednesday evening, the talented athlete picked up another big offer.

"Nebraska actually just offered me today (Wednesday)," said Simon. "I talked to one of their coaches on the phone but I can't remember which one it was. I was definitely surprised to get an offer from them. All I know (about the program) is that it's a big school and that it's far away, very far away."

Nebraska joins a group of three other schools that Simon identified as programs that have recently turned up the heat.

"Ole Miss, Iowa State, and Ohio State, that's about it for right now," Simon replied, when asked which schools were showing the most interest. "I don't really have any favorite schools right now."

Simon has never been to Columbus for a visit but he's hoping that will change within the next few months.

"I'm thinking about visiting them, I'm still thinking about it," he said. "I'm thinking about visiting after the football season probably."

With NCAA rules limiting the amount of contact that college coaches can have with prospects, Simon hasn't had a chance to speak too often with the staff at Ohio State, though he did quickly get to speak with them recently.

"I talked to them like a week ago," he said. "I can't remember what coach it was because my coach called them and they just wanted to say 'hi' to me and that they were very interested in me and then after that I just went back to class."

The biggest reason that Simon doesn't have more BCS-level offers has been academics but there has been a lot of progress made over the last couple of months.

"I'm doing really good on (academics)," he said. "I've started to focus more on getting my grades straight. I'm about to make the honor roll and I plan to make it the rest of the year."

On the field, things haven't been going quite as well for Simon as his team sits at just 3-4 on the season.

"Things aren't going the way I wanted to but we just have to finish our season strong," he said. "I feel like I've done my best. I try to help the team out in any way that I can."
Simon added that he is unsure of a timeframe on a decision but that it would probably be closer to Signing Day.


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