STARKVILLE, MS (WLBT) - Mississippi State junior defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons has announced that he will forgo his final season in Starkville and declare for the NFL Draft.
In a letter to the Bulldog faithful, released on Mississippi State Football’s official Twitter, the third team All-American thanked the many people who helped him on his journey.
The Macon native and former Noxubee County standout is a potential first round draft pick and one of Mississippi State’s top defensive linemen.
In the regular season, Simmons led the Bulldogs with 14.5 tackles for loss. His two tackles for loss in the 2018 Egg Bowl victory against Ole Miss put him at 30 career tackles for loss, ranking seventh in MSU history. The third year started also ranks fourth on the team with 59 tackles, which leads all defensive linemen in the SEC, as well. His 14.5 tackles for loss in the 2018 season is also tied for fourth in the SEC.
He recently took home the Conerly Trophy, signifying the top football player in the state of Mississippi. Simmons is also a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll with over a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
State fans will have one more chance to see Simmons take the field as he also announces that he will play in the Outback Bowl in Tampa on New Year’s Day.
You can read Simmons’s full letter below:
Not everyone gets a second chance, but I am so grateful I did.
Thank you God.
Thank you to Mississippi State for giving me the opportunity to play SEC football and attend this amazing school. It was a dream I never thought could come true.
Thank you to Athletic Directors Scott Stricklin and John Cohen and President Keenum for believing in me.
Thank you to my professors and academic staff for giving me the tools to be successful in the classroom and helping push me to become Academic All-SEC.
Thank you to the city of Starkville, my hometown of Macon, this community and the many kids who inspire me when I take the field.
Thank you to my head coaches Joe Moorhead and Dan Mullen for pushing me to be my absolute best.
Thank you to my assistant coaches, especially "Coach Bake", for being a mentor and always being there for me.
Thank you to my teammates for making me better. It was you who saw the passion in me when I couldn't see it in myself at times.
Thank you to my family for always trusting me, being supportive and keeping me level headed.
Thank you to the Mississippi State family for being the greatest fans in college football, for always being there during the ups and downs.
For the past three years at Mississippi State, I have poured my heart into everything I did on the field, in the classroom and in the community. This place taught me to never give up, and it instilled a desire and a work ethic to reach my ultimate goal. I intend to complete my degree. I have so much passion for this game, and I am ready to take the next step as I declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.
I have always been a man of my word, and I always finish what I start. Therefore, on New Year's Day, I will wear the Maroon and White one last time with my brothers and play in the Outback Bowl in Tampa.
There's a saying about the Mississippi State family, "wherever you go, we go with you." I know you will be with me every step of the way, wherever this journey takes me.
Thank you. Hail State Forever.
- Jeffery Simmons