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January 28, 2009

Simmons ready to lead

Hutchinson (KS) Hutchinson C.C. safety Jasper Simmons became the first defensive back to commit to the Tigers in September. As the season played out, it became clear that the Tigers needed help in the secondary. Simmons is hoping to come in and make a difference immediately.

"After watching them (Mizzou) from last year, they need help in the safety area because people were mostly passing on them," Simmons said. "I am looking to come in and stop most of the passing on them."

Besides being a playmaker on the field, Simmons is hoping that his experience playing college football will help him be a leader for the team.

"Just by doing like I did up here in community college," he said. "The first year I was here we were 2-7, and the second year we ended up being 7-4 and going to the championship game, but we lost to Butler. So just getting everyone going and doing what I have to do."

Since his commitment, Simmons has been focused on his team's run to the championship along with working out in preparation for Mizzou. The safety has kept in touch with current Tiger Robert Steeples, and he said they are both looking forward to having big years and helping the Tigers continue their current success.

Simmons has also kept in touch with Mizzou's coaching staff and has talked with them about what kind of playing time he could expect.

"They have been telling me that if I come here and play how I did in junior college and come with that leadership, then I would have a good chance to get to play," the safety said."

For now, Simmons will continue to work out and prepare to make his way to Columbia after he finishes school. According to Simmons, the hardest part is wait.

"It's real hard," he said. "I am looking forward to the first game and suiting up and going out in front of thousands and thousands of people. I have some shoes to fill, and I need to come and do what I need to do."



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