The move to Los Angeles from Jacksonville, Fla., hasn’t been much of an adjustment for Lamont Simmons, who enjoys hot weather. “That’s one of the main reasons I chose to come here,” said Simmons, who is one of just three out-of-state freshmen players.
The adjustment on the field has been more challenging, as the cornerback learns the Trojans’ defense while trying to keep pace with Coach Steve Sarkisian’s up-tempo system.
“Our offense is very fast,” Simmons said. “After the deep ball you got to come right back to the line and get ready to press another guy.”
Simmons, 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, provides length at cornerback the Trojans lacked in recent years. “He has great size and good speed. He just needs to develop” defensive backs, coach Keith Heyward said.
Simmons is working closely with senior Josh Shaw, who has taken a special interest in the freshman. “He’s a big brother to me,” Simmons said.
Depth at cornerback has been a concern the past two seasons, but USC returns both starters Shaw and Kevon Seymour. If they avoid injury, Simmons will most likely redshirt this season.
“That’s the plan right now,” Heyward said.