Simmons, UNC Come Together
Jackson Simmons
Jackson Simmons
National Recruiting Director
Posted Aug 17, 2010


Since his days at Kansas, Roy Williams has always incorporated in-state walk ons in his program. On Tuesday, the coach may have scored his best one yet when he convinced Jackson Simmons to walk on for the Heels and bypass a litany of mid-major offers.

The North Carolina Tar Heels accepted a verbal commitment from Jackson Simmons, a 6-foot-7 power forward out of Sylva (N.C.) Smoky Mountain.

“It came out of leftfield,” Simmons said. “It’s truly an honor. I don’t really know what to say.”

Roy Williams has been known to pick in-state kids with talent and give them a chance to earn their way and be a part of the state program. He did it often at Kansas but Simmons may be the most talented player he’s ever offered this opportunity to.

“I’m going to get to go to Carolina and play basketball at Carolina. The thing that it is, it’s a great deal. Coach Williams talked to me after the first period. He said that he’s got some scholarship offers out and he gave me the proposition of being on the varsity as an invited walk-on and the scholarship stuff will play its way out.”

Simmons took his team to the final four in the state last year and averaged 19.9 points and 12.5 rebounds. He played alongside Tyler Lewis and Adejhi Baru last summer with Team Loaded.

“It just felt right. When I went down there I just felt the team had great continuity and I felt like I was willing to take the hard working end and work my way up like Wes Miller, C.B. McGrath and Jerod Haase.”

Simmons’ mother coached Lady Tar Heel Cetera DeGraffenreid in high school and now she’ll get to travel to Chapel Hill to watch her son. “It’s funny how things work out.”

Jackson had scholarship offers from Davidson, Charlotte and Old Dominion. He’s a gritty, hard playing guy with a skilled face up package. Last summer he was evaluated by ACC schools and a host of mid-majors nationally including Butler.

In creating this opportunity for Simmons, the Tar Heels lured in an extremely talented player who is taking a chance at walking on and earning his way. Anyone who knows Jackson Simmons shouldn’t be surprised that he accepted the challenge.

“(Coach Williams) said I was the kid with the most skill that I’ve ever offered this to. I want it and that’s what I really want. I want to prove him right.”


Related Stories
Simmons hearing from Clemson
 -by CUTigers.com  Jul 16, 2010
Big Shots: Day One
 -by ScoutHoops.com  Jul 11, 2010
Up Close: Jackson Simmons, Part I
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Nov 30, 2010

Contact Evan Daniels
for Media requests at:
edaniels@scout.com
MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Get the 2014 Scout.com Recruiting Yearbook with an annual Total Access Pass
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from ScoutHoops.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
PF Jackson Simmons (profile)
[View My HotList]