Mississippi State defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons was enrolled amidst a firestorm of controversy, but he showed he was more than one awful moment.
On Tuesday night, star defensive lineman for the Mississippi State Bulldogs Jeffery Simmons won the C-Spire Conerly Trophy. The award is given to the player recognized as the best player in the state of Mississippi each season.
But as most of us know, Jeffery Simmons almost didn’t make it to the Mississippi State campus. Not long after he had signed his letter of intent, he was videoed punching a woman in a fight with his sister who was on the ground .
It was an awful look, and Mississippi State took a huge PR hit when the school decided to suspend him just one game for the incident. I was one of those who thought the school was being too lenient.
But Jeffery Simmons was given a second chance. In many instances, a decision to do so can often come back to bite a school because the player in question often has a history of making mistakes, but they’re just hoping the player has finally learned their lesson.
And this is where Jeffery Simmons deserves credit. Since that awful incident in March of 2016, the only thing Simmons could do was to be a model student and citizen. There’s nothing he will ever be able to do to make that moment go away, but he had the choice to not let this one moment become the moment that defines him throughout his life and football career.
Jeffery Simmons has done just that. Simmons has been an honor student in the classroom, and there has not been one whiff of trouble in his three seasons as a Bulldog.
While Simmons could still technically play for Mississippi State again in 2019, there is little doubt he will declare himself eligible for the NFL Draft and be drafted in the first round. He’ll still have to answer questions about that moment in his life as teams weigh whether or not to draft him.
But when he answers those questions, he’ll be able to point to what he has done in his time since that moment in his life. Jeffery Simmons will have shown that giving second chances is sometimes a worthwhile endeavor.