Signee Update: Malik Simmons

Signee Update: Malik Simmons

Despite signing with North Carolina as a cornerback, Malik Simmons could see a position change before he even steps foot on campus.

"Tre [Boston] told me that he was asked if he thought I could play free safety," Simmons said. "So they might try me at free safety when I get up there."

Simmons, a 6-foot, 180-pound athlete, starred at quarterback for Lehigh Acres (Fla.) Lehigh before an injury during his senior season forced him to miss a few games. When he returned to action, he was moved to wide receiver for the remainder of the season. Throughout his prep career he rotated on defense between safety and cornerback, when it didn't hinder his offensive usage.

"The position doesn't matter to me," Simmons said. "I just want to play. Wherever [UNC] needs me, that's where I'll be. DB is DB."

Following the football season, Simmons competed in basketball and track. He averaged 18 points and five assists on the hardwood. In track, he participated in the 200-meter dash and 4x100 relay. His personal best time in the 200 was 21.9 seconds.

Simmons hasn't allowed his sports schedule to interfere with preparation for his UNC career. He works out at least once a day – and on some days twice. After school every day, he follows the workout booklet that UNC sends its signees. Every other day, he's in a weight training class where he follows a completely different workout.

"My high school coach, he has a real good weight program," Simmons said. "So the workout [UNC] sent us wasn't that much different from what I have been doing. I talked to Tre Boston and he told me the workout they follow once they are at school is tougher."

Since his football season concluded, Simmons has noticed an improvement in his speed and strength. However, his physical weight has hovered around his football-season playing weight – at the most, he said, he's added two or three pounds.

Since Signing Day, Simmons hears from Dan Disch, UNC's defensive coordinator, occasionally.

"He just tells me about any news and he just checks up on me," Simmons said.

During their most recent conversation, Simmons asked Disch if he could room with fellow Floridian T.J. Jiles. Disch deferred that question to someone in administration.

Simmons's most recent communication with UNC has been with its support staff as he finishes up the last paperwork for his enrollment in the second summer semester. Simmons says he is deemed academically eligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse and has cleared UNC admissions.

Simmons wore No. 10 for Lehigh. Boston, a junior safety and Simmons's close friend, currently sports those digits for UNC.

"It doesn't matter what number I get, as long as it's not in the 40s," Simmons said. "I just don't like numbers in the 40s."

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