August 24, 2011

Notebook: Simmons is in

Simmons Finally Cleared

After playing the waiting game with the NCAA, Delvon Simmons was finally cleared to play today. When asked, Simmons said he was relieved and happy that the long process was over.

"Yea it does (feel good)," Simmons said. "Another relief I got off my shoulders. Now I can focus on football and school," he said. "It was stressful just thinking about it. Thinking about playing football, and thinking if I was just going through all of this for nothing. Just stressful."
Since this was the first time speaking to Simmons since the beginning of school, everyone wondered how he felt he had been performing. Simmons felt that he had gained strength since coming in a few weeks earlier.

"I think I've gotten stronger," he said. "I was out of shape coming in. Now it's getting easier and easier as I run more, get used to my shoulder pads and stuff."
Head coach Tommy Tuberville echoed Simmons feelings.

"Finally. Relief. I hadn't understood it the whole time, but what else is new when you're dealing with the folks up north. It worked out," Tuberville said. "It should've been worked out a long time ago, because he did everything he needed to do, but you've got to go through the proper channels. There's a lot of red tape that we had to work through."

"He's ready to go. He's a Red Raider 100 percent now, and I think the pressure's off him. He's going to be a heck of a football player. I think that he even practiced better today knowing that he's going to be here for sure."

Tuberville Pleased With Wednesday Scrimmage
Tuberville was pleased with the team's overall effort on Wednesday afternoon. He felt that both the defense and offense had a good scrimmage.

"I thought the defense did a good job," Tuberville said. "Still making some mistakes communication wise on offense, but it was a good day on offense too. We worked more on the running game and worked on the four minute drill and two minute drill and special stuff on the kicking game."

Tuberville also said that the defense had the better day yet again.

The Red Raiders will take off Thursday for the first day of class.

"I thought defense again won out, Tuberville said. "We played better. Effort was good. Now we'll take tomorrow off other than meetings and have the first day of school, get everything going in the right direction, and hopefully get off to a good start and we'll be back to work on Friday."

Carona Inconsistent, But Looking Good

With the graduation of Matt Williams, Donnie Carona has walked into the starting kicker position. Tuberville felt that while Carona has had a good fall camp, he's been inconsistent from shorter field goal ranges.

"Carona's doing good. He's inconsistent, but we've kicked a lot of long field goals," said the head ball coach. "I think he's been pretty good from long field goals. Short field goals, we should be in good shape, but not as consistent as we'd like to be."

Tuberville also said that Carona has been the long field goal kicker, as Bradley Hicks has been out for all of camp with a pulled muscle.

"We haven't had a back up kicker, so he's had to do it all."

Robertson Adjusting To Strong Safety.

Freshman safety Pete Robertson had started out the fall at the free safety position backing up D.J. Johnson, but has recently been moved to strong safety. Robertson was thrown off by the change early, but has started to adjust.

"It kind if confused me, because I already had the plays down from the beginning of fall with free safety," Robertson said. "When coach (Chad) Glasgow told me I was going down to strong safety, I didn't think it would be that big of a difference. It's harder than I thought it was going to be. I get more tired at strong safety than free safety because I'm going on the blitz, but I'm starting to get used to it and it's going to get pretty good."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!