Edge Defender Taurus Simmons Commits To WVU
West Virginia’s football verbal commitment list in the Class of 2020 rose to 11 with the announcement of Savannah, Georgia, defender Taurus Simmons on Monday evening.
An explosive edge rusher with a good wingspan and the ability to turn the corner quickly, Simmons fits the mold of the hybrid edge defenders that anchor the new Mountaineer defensive system under coordinator Vic Koenning. Simmons (6-3, 205 lbs.) figures to start out as a bandit in WVU’s scheme. At that position, his pass rushing skills and ability to get into the backfield and chase down defenders could come into play.
A look at Simmons’ video shows him lining up as a seven technique edge defender on a number of plays. From that position, he uses his speed to crash down quickly into the backfield, often beating blockers cleanly to disrupt plays in the backfield.
More detailed looks exhibit his versatility. Lining up tight against short yardage offenses, he displays a quick get-off, forcing missed blocks from foes while knifing past attempts to slow him at the line. He typically plays from a two-point stance, but also has clips from a three-point set, which does not appear to slow him down as he attacks into the backfield.
Simmons also shows good balance and reading of plays when defending against runs to his side. Edge pass rushers can sometimes take themselves out of plays by sprinting too quickly toward the quarterback, but he displays awareness in checking for runs and keeping contains with the ball comes his way. This versatility could allow him to play defensive end or linebacker, depending how he grows and fills out, but for now bandit appears to be a starting point made for his natural abilities. He could certainly grow into other positions such as defensive end or a linebacker, but that’s for future years to determine.
The Georgia native is the third player in the Class of 2020 who could wind up at bandit in the future for WVU. He joins junior college commitment S.L. McCall and high schooler Lanell Carr as players with an intriguing mix of size and speed in the class.
WVU now shows five defensive and six offensive players in the class.