October 28, 2010
With the elevation of the left tackle into a 100 million dollar position, football coaches, players and analysts have talked about the incredible intricacies and subtleties that go in to playing offensive line. Picking up the opposing defense has become a science on the same scale as astro-physics, and for good reason.
The primary job of the offensive linemen is to block the opposing defense linemen from getting to the ball-carrier, and defensive linemen have evolved from big, lumbering heavyweights to athletic specimens that run like a wide receiver, jump like a power forward, and tackle like a linebacker. Offensive linemen have undergone a similar transformation, and yesterday's un-athletic giants no longer have a place on the o-line. Physically, Crespi right tackle Jordan Simmons fits the bill of todays linemen. He measures a frightening 6'5 295, and yet he runs a sub 5 second 40 yard dash. Simmons' mentality however, would fit in well on Knute Rockne's depression era Notre Dame teams.
"My job is to block the guy in front of me. It's that simple. I'm not going to let him get to my quarterback, and I'm not going to let him get to my running back. He is staying in front of me until the whistle blows," Simmons said. With his size, athleticism and production, Simmons has all the makings of a future NFL left tackle, and scouts and colleges have taken notice. He is currently juggling offers from scores of programs around the country, including nearby USC, UCLA, and SEC power Florida.
"The recruiting process has been fun so far, but it's also bee hectic. I've been to a lot of camps, talked to a lot of coaches, but right now I have to trust that it will take care of itself and focus on right now, my junior season and high school. We have a chance to be really good this year," Simmons said.
Crespi is loaded with weapons offensively, and with Simmons anchoring the line, and wideout Devin Lucien shredding opposing secondaries, the Celts are capable of lighting up the scoreboard every Friday.
"We worked really hard this off-season because we wanted this season to be special, we wanted to send off our seniors with a championship," Simmons said. "One thing about out team is we are incredibly coachable, everybody wants to get better and we have so much respect for our coaching staff that we try and do everything the say, because it's going to make us better individually and as team," Simmons said.
Crespi's championship aspirations hit a roadblock early, after the team dropped their opener 14-11 to Compton Dominguez, an upstart program that also knocked off Sherman Oaks Notre Dame this season. The Celts bounced back by rattling off 5 straight wins, but then dropped consecutive games to 8-0 Bishop Amat and Mission Hills Alemany. Crespi has the talent to beat anybody come playoff time, but they are in danger of missing out. To secure a playoff berth they must close the season with wins against Loyola and Notre Dame, a daunting but doable task.
"Those losses were tough but we are a resilient team and we've learned from both games and we've gotten better. We've worked on communicating, on executing and avoiding penalties and mental mistakes," Simmons said. "We're going to take it one day at a time for the rest of the season."
Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, Simmons will be in Crespi brown next season before moving on to college football. That's bad news for defensive ends all over the state of California, because like Simmons says "I'm not going to let them get to my quarterback, and I'm not going to let them get to my running back."