Football: Trophy case grows for Simmons

Crespi's Jordan Simmons was named to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl this week. Angela Means

ENCINO -- The accolades continue to mount for Jordan Simmons from Crespi.

The prep football season, mind you, is not over yet. We're at the midway point.

Nevertheless, Simmons accepted an invitation to play in the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl this week. His selection comes as little surprise. The honor is one of many for the 6-foot-5 and 325-plus pound senior offensive lineman, considered one of the country's premier prospects.

"I'm really looking forward to competing against some of the best guys,'' Simmons said with regards to playing in the all-star game featuring the nation's elite. The action take places in a few months, on Jan. 12. Simmons will represent the West against a team of standouts from the East. NBC will broadcast the event live at 1 P.M. EST from the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas.

“This game will give me a chance to see how I measure up against some of the top competition that's out there,'' Simmons added. “My goal is to come out and establish my name. I know if I keep working hard, and keep working on my fundamentals, then I should be fine."

ESPN Recruiting ranks Simmons as the nation's No. 5 player at guard and No. 86 overall. Closer to home, Simmons is No. 6 in the Southland and No. 9 in the Golden State.

He has close to 30 scholarship offers on the table, quite a few from Division I powerhouse programs. Auburn, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame are among the many potential suitors. Nearby, coaches and scouts from UCLA and USC are constant contact with him.

“Simmons is a big boy who will we feel will fit best at guard in college,'' said Craig Haubert, a well-respected ESPN national recruiting analyst. “This ESPNU 150 prospect brings more to the table than just his massive size though. He also has good flexibility and foot quickness. He needs to watch his pad level at times, but he can be a dominant blocker in the run game.”

A decision about his future does not figure to be made anytime soon. Simmons said he plans on waiting until after the season to make his all-important college commitment.

In the meantime, his focus figures to be on Friday's Serra League opener against visiting Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. Simmons and Crespi (5-1 overall) are No. 16 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com rankings and can not afford to look past the Knights (5-1), who are No. 24 in the poll.

"Jordan is physically gifted. He's the total package," Crespi coach Jon Mack said. "I'm just glad he's on our side and we don't have to play against him on a weekly basis. He's a tremendous drive blocker and gets off the ball great in pass protection. He is a kid who can do it all.

"We support Jordan when goes to camps and combines, high-profile events. Everyone out there gets a chance to see what he can do. We're talking about someone who's going to make an impact at the next level right away. He won't have any issues making the transition.''

Simmons will be the first Crespi player to participate in the U.S. Army All-Amercian Bowl, in its 12th year of existence. Some notable alumni include Heisman hopeful Andrew Luck from Stanford, along with current NFL stars Adrian Peterson and Ndamukong Suh.

Several players from the greater Los Angeles area are expected to join Simmons in Texas for the game. Defensive back Ishmael Adams and receiver Jordan Payton from Westlake Village Oaks Christian were also recently selected to participate. As many as three other local products figure to be announced as U.S. Army All-Americans in the next couple of weeks.

Simmons will indeed have some company from out in this neck of the woods when he travels to the Midwest at the start of the next calendar year.

“Things are happening fast, especially with recruiting stuff and the U.S Army All-American Bowl,'' he said. “It seems like every month, every week, sometimes every day, something comes up like an honor or an award. This is a good time for me. I'm excited about the future.''

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.