April 23, 2008

Simone likes both in-state programs

Gino Simone goes into the spring evaluation period with four scholarship offers already on the table.

The 6-foot-0, 176-pound wide receiver prospect from Issaquah (Wash.) Skyline caught 70 passes for 1,417 yards and 20 touchdowns last fall as a junior. He also recorded 42 tackles and four interceptions playing safety on defense.

Simone helped the Spartans to a 14-0 record and 3A state championship in 2007.

"I think I am a very determined player," Simone said when asked what separates him from most football players at the high school level. "I put it in my head that when I go up for the ball, I am going to come down with it. I feel my want to is more than anyone else out on the field."

Washington State, Washington, Boise State and UNLV are the colleges currently vying for Simone's signature. All four have offered. He has also drawn looks from Oregon, UCLA and Arizona.

Simone took an unofficial visit to UNLV this spring. He plans to attend one-day camps at Washington, Washington State, Boise State, UCLA and possibly Oregon State this summer.

"I really like the two Northwest schools in U-Dub (Washington) and Washington State," Simone explained. "And Boise State is really up there for me too."

What makes both of the in-state programs stand out to Simone?

"At both schools there is great tradition," he said. "At U-Dub, in the early '90s, they were really one of the top contenders in the nation year in and year out. And you look at Washington State and over the years since Coach [Mike] Levenseller has been on their staff [as the wide receivers coach], they have had an all-conference player at the position almost every year. So it is just a lot of little things that make both of those schools great."

Simone's father played wide receiver at Arizona State in the early '80s.

"I really look to my dad a lot because he went through this situation back in the day so I really hold his opinion very high," he said. "He has told me to be smart with the recruiting process and not make a decision too early. I want to get to some schools and evaluate some different things. Once I feel really comfortable with a school, that's when I'll commit."

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