December 6, 2009

Simms discusses UT visit

Matt Simms isn't sure how many passes he completed or touchdowns he tossed this season for El Camino Community College in Torrance, Calif.

Rather, Simms focuses on his team's success and the number eight.

"To tell you the truth, I don't even know (stats). I really don't. It was just about getting experience, playing games, competing," said the highly-regarded JuCo signal-caller. "I was happy to be a part of a team and be quarterback for a team that won eight games before I got hurt."

Simms, who broke a bone on his right, throwing hand when his follow-through on a pass attempt caused his hand to strike a helmet, is now focusing on his future in football following a weekend visit to Knoxville to check out Lane Kiffin's Tennessee program.

"Well as far as right now, I just got done with the whole trip and right now I'm just going to go back and talk to my family. Right now, it would be pretty hard to turn a place like Tennessee down," said Simms. "It's definitely looking like I might be coming to Tennessee. It's unbelievable here, it really is."

So did Simms formally receive an offer this weekend from the Vols' coaches?

"Yeah, I guess you could say that. You know, they still kind of want to keep their options right now just because of their quarterback situation, but we'll see how it plays out in the next few weeks," he explained.

Though long accustomed to big-time football with his brother, Chris, a former University of Texas and NFL player and his father, Phil, a Super Bowl winner, Matt Simms couldn't get over the Tennessee experience.

"This is my first time to campus, but for a first time I'd have to stay it's pretty unbelievable. Everything, the atmosphere and just the general feel of the school. It's unbelievable," Simms said. "I mean, I felt like I had been around a lot of big-time football and big-time facilities until I came here. So you just couldn't ask for a better opportunity at a place like this, and you've just got to be thankful, you know, that a staff like this thinks that you're a good player."

Simms also thinks Tennessee's coaching staff is operating a program that helps players prepare for the next level of football.

"It's really impressive, just their intensity in practice, their focus in practice," Simms said. "It really is it's unbelievable, just how much of an NFL feel it has to it. You couldn't ask for anything more, you really couldn't."

Hosted by redshirt freshman right tackle Aaron Douglas, Simms also spent some time watching the Vols' burgeoning offensive line star - and Simms' potential future protector.

"(Douglas) took care of me. Got to watch him on film a little bit. He's a good player, and a young player too," he said. "That's the team, it's got a lot of young players and a good mix of kids. They've got something going here, for that's for sure."

Intent on landing somewhere by January in order to compete in spring camp, Simms will discuss things with his family more in-depth and continue preparing for the next step of his career.

"That's definitely the goal to be in spring camp somewhere. Moving forward and getting ready for football in the fall," he said. "I just feel like I'm an extremely competitive person. Love competing. Love playing. Really, the strength that I have is just I love to play hard, have fun and do everything we need to do to win. Other than that, it's just about working hard and doing all that and good things will happen. …

"I have experience, but at the same time I don't. Wherever I go, I do want to come in and compete right away. I only have two years left of eligibility, so it's kind of crunch-time."

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