When he visited Florida last September Clearwater (Fla.) Clearwater Academy International offensive tackle Lucas Simmons was mostly known for being the teammate of highly sought-after four-star defensive lineman Isaiah Hastings.
Now, rated as a four-star, he himself has become one of the most coveted linemen in the Sunshine State.
After starring at the UA Next Camp last month, the 6-foot-7, 300-pounder unofficially visited Florida on Tuesday with the highlight being the ability to watch the Gators' first practice of the spring.
“My first time seeing Florida practice was good,” said Simmons. “I liked how they ran things and that they were focused on the details.”
During that time, he not only got to see the players practice but what could be his future coaches, actually coach as well as interact with them.
“I talked to [Rob] Sale and [Darnell] Stapleton the most,” explained Simmons. “They seemed to click very well and were both genuine guys.”
Though he couldn't identify who they were, he said he interacted with some UF players as well.
“I completely forgot their names, but I talked to a few players after practice and we just had a quick conversation about football.”
Then finally, he spoke to the head coach himself.
“Coach [Billy] Napier and I had a great conversation where I got to know him better,” said Simmons. “I feel like he is an honest guy who cares for his players.”
After this trip to Florida, Simmons said he knows of two more spring visits.
“I’m going to USC March 25-27 and Tennessee April 8-10.”
Simmons hasn't released a leaderboard and said he isn't ready to just yet.
When asked if there were a couple of programs who he knew would be on that list or a finalist, he replied, “I don’t know who will be there until the end.”
What he does know is what he is looking for when he makes his choice.
“I want a place where I’ll be developed and a place where I’ll be taken care of as well,” stated Simmons. “I don’t want to go to a place where they will just care and value me for my talents in football. I want to feel comfortable that I am more than just a jersey number.”
The Inside Scoop: While he is incredibly articulate, he doesn't give up a lot of info when it comes to the programs he actually likes. He said his favorite growing up was Oklahoma, where his father played because he and his dad would watch them every Saturday. Other than going to this magnet school in-state, he doesn't have a lot of ties to the state of Florida.