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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Jimmie Simpson, WR, Hardin-Simmons University

jimmie simpsonEvery year, NFL Draft Diamonds brings our readers the best in depth interviews on the internet. We specialize in giving players an opportunity to showcase their talents on our website. We conducted interviews last year with over 300 plus players. We want you to enjoy our interviews, because when these young men are in the league, we will not be surprised, and neither should you. 

What is your name?

Jimmie Logan Simpson

What is your Height/Weight?

I’m 5′ 9″ 190lbs.

What is your position?

Slot Receiver and Punt Returner

Where do you play college football?

Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Tx

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

A handful of teams recruited me out of high school, but only a few teams recruited me all the way up to my decision. In the end it came down to Sam Houston and Hardin-Simmons.

How did you choose your school?

I was pretty much set that I wanted to go to SHSU so I hadn’t returned any calls I had received from Hardin-Simmons. A friend and old teammate of mine that was a couple years older than me was at HSU at the time and called me one day and convinced me to come up to Abilene to hang out for a day. Hardin-Simmons completely surprised me and was much more than I expected. I met with the coaches and some of the players there and I was really impressed with the high level of talent they had as well as the atmosphere throughout the program. Everyone, including the coaches, were extremely close. I took one last visit the next weekend to SHSU and it went great, but I called and committed to HSU on the way home.

Where are you from?

I’m from Waco, TX. I played at Midway High School

Who is your role model, and why?

My biggest role model is my dad. He has always been the one I have looked up to and that still hasn’t changed. With everything I do I have him in mind. Not only is he my father, but he is one of my best friends.

Have any scouts met with you yet, and if so what are they saying?

Not really. I have had one scout talk to me after the D3 Senior Classic game in December but it was very brief.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I played year round baseball for almost my whole childhood. I didn’t start playing football until the 6th grade, but by my junior year in high school I had decided to focus only on football. I also ran track.

Did you play any other positions in football?

I was a RB and OLB when I was younger but since high school I have played slot and returned punts.

At your position, what separates you from others?

My work ethic and my leadership ability separate me from others off the field as well as on the field. Playing receiver, I take a lot of pride in my physicality with and without the ball in my hands as well as my ability to use my quickness and speed to make plays. As a punt returner my ability to make catches and break tackles in close quarters sets me apart from others as well as being very dependable with ball security and my decisions. Overall I am not a player that is one dimensional or only exceptional in a couple areas. I have good speed and quickness as well as strength and smarts.

When you are breaking down film, what do you look for?

When breaking down film I look first at the coverages that certain team runs and then how they like to run them. Do they have guys that give away specific rolls? How do their linebackers drop in zone. Are they heavy collision players, and if so, do they like to lock and run or just try to get a hand on you? A big thing I look for is how players approach different plays. How aggressive are they when reading run? What is their favorite way to take on blocks? In coverage, do they tend to flip their hips early and keep space or late and get hands-on? Those are some of the things I watch for when preparing each week.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Lucky for me the toughest guys I have faced in college have been on my own team. That might have been because they knew me well or just because I had to face them daily, but I am extremely thankful for them because it made me a much better player. Jonathan Petty was our strong safety my freshman through junior years and he was extremely patient and was a heavy collision type of player, not to mention one of the smartest guys on defense. He made it extremely hard running routes in the slot when doing our crossover periods and that made it much easier in games and even more so the older I got.

CHECK OUT JIMMIE’S HIGHLIGHTS HERE

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?

I love watching Julian Edelman as well as Wes Welker. The size similarity to me is part of the reason I compare myself to them and like watching them, but the way they move on the field I’d like to think is very similar to the way I play. They are both extremely smart and very crisp with their route running and have the ability to be very physical despite being undersized.

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?

I would have to say the toughest time I have had to go through was during my junior year at HSU on November 10th when my teammate and good friend was killed. It was extremely hard on our team as well as the whole school. “Overcoming” I don’t think would be the appropriate term for that because it will always hurt, but being with each other was where we found comfort and remembering the way he approached his life has definitely impacted the way that I go about my everyday life.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

If it was available I always got in the hot tub for about ten minutes and then typically always went out for a warm-up by myself on the field followed by catching a few balls from the quarterbacks. After that I go in and get dressed and listen to music for a little bit until its time to strap up. Right before every game I say a quick prayer and make sure I thank God for all He does for me and the opportunities He gives me.

What is your biggest strength?

My biggest strength is my mind. I think I am very strong in a lot of other areas, but I think my mental strength and toughness is my biggest asset.

What is your biggest weakness?

My biggest weakness is my tendency to forget to let loose every once in a while. If I’m not careful I can tend to be the guy that is always thinking of what needs to be done and be all business. While that is very important I have realized as I have gotten older it is important to know when and how to relax a little and have fun especially in a leadership role. I have gotten much better in the past year or so with that, but it is still something I have to continually work on.

If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?

I refuse to be anything but uncommon. It’s the way I was raised. I am the most dependable person you will know and I will give nothing less than everything I have in whatever I am doing. These things apply to all areas of my life, not just the football field.

Who was your favorite player and NFL team growing up?

I never had a specific team that was my favorite growing up. I was a fan of players. When I was young I really liked Mike Alstott. My favorite player now for the past couple years is Julian Edelman.

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose?

Lane Frost, Chris Kyle, and Julian Edelman.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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