While most sophomores in high school are focusing on passing their driver’s test and starting college tours, Austin Simmons has already decided where he will spend his college career academically and athletically. In an age of early recruiting, committing to a school as a sophomore isn’t all that uncommon, but reclassifying to play at that school two years early is.

Ahead of the game

If you are wondering if you read that last paragraph right, you did. Simmons graduated high school two years early and will be attending college in the fall. Last season, the dual-threat quarterback threw for over 3000 yards and scored 24 touchdowns at Pahokee High. Simmons, who was ranked 77th in the country in the class of 2025, now ranks 156th in the class of 2023. During his time at Pahokee, Simmons has drawn comparisons to Pahokee graduate and three-time NFL Pro Bowler Anquan Bolden.

Although Simmons shows promise on the football field, it is his work in the classroom that has made this jump possible. He completed all of his high school requirements at 16, using a homeschool schedule to his advantage. It’s been reported that Simmons would start his school day at 7 a.m., allowing him to fast-track his academics and put more time in than the average high schooler on the gridiron.

“Austin is kind of in a category by himself because of the amount of work he puts in,” Coach Oliver Bozeman told reporters.

When Simmons isn’t on the football field, he can be found on the baseball diamond, where he has played varsity baseball since middle school.

Hotty Toddy

On June 18th, Simmons announced that he will be taking his talents to Ole Miss for the 2023 season. Simmons finished his high school career with a 5.34 GPA and has almost completed his associate’s degree. When Simmons arrives on campus, he will be the youngest player in college football.

While his on-the-field accomplishments are great, going to Ole Miss next year wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for his discipline and drive in the classroom. As much as fans and players get consumed with the results on the field, it’s important to keep in mind that the student, in student-athlete, is just as important as the athlete.

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