Over the last few months, Ocean Lakes has proved has proved that they are one of the top high school football teams Virginia. One of the keys to the Dolphins’ success has been a consistent running game. The play of junior running back Brandon Simmons has been a big part of the team’s sensational season.
“We are just practicing hard and playing hard,” said Simmons. “We are 9-0 and the season has been a great experience – just being able to practice with the seniors – and learn from them.”
“The team this year is more of a team and that has been a big reason for our success. The seniors have been a great example. They have showed us how to be unselfish and play as a team.”
Simmons feels good about his performance this season, but knows he could not do it alone.
“I think that I’ve performed pretty well,” he said. “But I know I couldn’t perform the way I have without the help of my team.”
The junior is attracting interest from college programs.
“I have gotten mail from Cincinnati and Temple,” said the 5-foot-8, 170-pound Simmons. “I’ve also talked to the ODU coaches, and Virginia Tech and UVA have asked for my film.”
“I would like to hear from Alabama, LSU, Arizona State, Syracuse, and a lot more schools.”
The Ocean Lakes’ playmaker has taken a few visits.
“I have taken visits to ODU and Virginia Tech so far,” Simmons said.
“ODU gave me a tour around the school. They introduced to a few of their players and a few of their coaches. Then we talked about grades, and I got to see the practice facility.”
“Virginia Tech – I got to talk with the head coach (Frank Beamer) and some assistant coaches. They told me that they were looking at me and that they were going to keep following me this season.”
While Simmons knows the strengths of his game, he is quick to point out there is always room to improve.
“One thing that I think I do well is follow my blocks and read my keys,” he said. “I think I run with aggression and run with heart. The way I run – it wouldn’t even be possible without my offensive line. I think I run the ball well, but I’m working to improve on everything.”
Despite the fact that Ocean Lakes is undefeated, Simmons knows the journey is far from complete.
“Individually, I have two goals,” he said. “I want to rush for 200 yards in one game, and I would like to have over 1,000 for the season. My team goals – I just want us to keep being successful and win a state championship.”
Simmons has only gotten to play in the first half of most games because his team usually has a big lead. He has still rushed for close to 800 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Ocean Lakes plays its final regular season game against Kellam on Friday.