Shane Simmons was a huge commitment for James Franklin and Sean Spencer back in 2014, and comes into this year as one of the most intriguing true freshmen on the roster. Simmons has the athletic ability and size to contribute to the team immediately, though he will have to beat out some veteran competition in Evan Schwan and Curtis Cothran to earn playing time in relief of the presumed starters Garret Sickels and Torrence Brown.
Whether or not Simmons has the strength to battle in the trenches of the B1G will likely determine whether or not he takes a redshirt year. According to the roster, Simmons is 6’3” and 240 lbs, meaning that he has already started to add some bulk (he was listed at 221 lbs in his recruiting profile). This is a positive sign, but we will have to wait to hear how he performs in Training Camp and practices before projecting out how much of a role Simmons will play in the defense this year.
As he committed to the team over 2 years ago now, it feels like we have been waiting forever to see Simmons take the field for Penn State. Coming in as a Top 5 DE recruit with 4 OMG *s, expectations are high. Hopefully we won’t have to wait for 2017 to see the prized recruit from Maryland wreaking havoc against the Terrapins (and the rest of the B1G, but especially the team from his home-state).