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OSU linebacker recruit Ryan Simmons to push for playing time

As an eighth-grader, Steele, Texas, linebacker Ryan Simmons was heartbroken because the high school coach wouldn't let him play. The future Oklahoma State Cowboy has been breaking opponents hearts ever since.
By JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, Modified: February 2, 2011 at 10:49 pm •  Published: February 2, 2011

Ryan Simmons sat in the bleachers, losing it because the high school coach wouldn't put him in the game.

Trouble was, he was in the eighth grade, tagging along with his older brother Aaron to 7-on-7 tournaments.

“Ryan would bring his cleats every single week,” Steele coach Mike Jinks said of the Oklahoma State linebacker recruit. “The first week, we held the games at our place, he was sitting there just bawling.

“He was in the eighth grade, so it was illegal. But he was 6-foot, 200 pounds and looked like a grown man. He was just sitting over there crying, so heartbroken because we wouldn't let him play.”

Eventually, Simmons played. And starred.

As a senior, he totaled a team-leading 179 tackles and earned Associated Press First-Team Texas 5A All-State honors. And Simmons was key to a Steele state championship run.

“And our defense is what won it for us,” Jinks said.

Simmons played in the U.S. Army All-American Game and was back on the field Wednesday — national signing day — playing in the Team U.S. vs. The World exhibition game in Austin, where he faxed in his letter-of-intent from the team hotel.

OSU Recruiting: View the Cowboys' 2011 class

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