Defensive tackle John Simon was among the five Ohio State verbals who participated in this year’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Simon took some time to discuss his experience.
SAN ANTONIO, Tex. – To succeed in the Big Ten, a player needs to possess a tremendous amount of strength, and Buckeye-bound defensive tackle John Simon has plenty of it.
The 6-foot-3, 280 pound defensive tackle from Youngstown Cardinal Mooney is strong by nature with a reported personal best bench press max of 445 pounds and a personal best 48 reps at 225 pounds.
It is one thing to simply be able to lift a lot of weights, but Simon is the rare breed that turns his ability to throw around barbells in the weight room into the ability to rip through offensive linemen at the point of attack on the football field.
Simon displayed his physical nature all week in practices leading up to Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl, a 30-17 victory for Simon and his teammates on the East squad, and was consistently one of the better defensive tackles on the field with his ability to constantly use his low pad level to get leverage and make plays in the backfield.
Simon entered the week far from being the most highly touted member of the East defensive line, but he nonetheless was able to step his game up against elite level competition.
“Everyone here is good, so you have to come ready to play,” said Simon. “I think the East did that well. We practiced hard and had a great week of practice and it showed in the game.”
Simon was one of five Ohio State commits to play on the victorious East team and says that just being invited to the event in San Antonio was the thrill of a lifetime.
“It’s a great honor to play in this game because of everything that it stands for,” said Simon. “With everything that the Army stands for and with all of the great competition here it has been a great experience this week.”
Simon hopes that there are many more good experiences to come his way during his time as a Buckeye, which will begin this summer when he enrolls at Ohio State for summer classes. One of the first verbal pledges in the Class of 2009 (Simon committed to the Buckeyes over a year ago over reported offers from Pitt, Nebraska, and Notre Dame), Simon is excited to get to Columbus and begin preparing for his college career.
“Ohio State is the place for me,” said Simon. “I feel like I fit in real well. The coaching staff really welcomed me in and the players are great. I’m really looking forward to getting there. I can’t wait.”