Simmons (6-foot-4, 260 pounds) is ranked as the 24th overall high school prospect in the state of North Carolina according to Scout.com. He has received scholarship offers to play football at the college level from East Carolina and Navy, among others. However, he has given his verbal commitment to play football at Duke University for Coach David Cutcliffe on a full athletic scholarship.
On the field, Simmons demands perfection from himself, and in the classroom, he is no different. At Sanderson High School, Simmons has taken a course load that includes 15 honors and five advanced placement classes. However, he has maintained straight A’s. He holds a 4.0 unweighted grade point average and a 4.71 weighted grade point average, ranking him 11th in his graduating class of over 400 students. He also had a perfect attendance record as a junior.
Simmons’ scholastic achievements have earned him several academic honors, including NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete, Academic All Conference and the NCHSAA Heart of a Champion Award. He received the Heart of a Champion Award for demonstrating outstanding citizenship and sportsmanship, along with his academic achievements during his high school career.
“Perry Simmons is the hardest working player that I have ever had the opportunity to coach,” said Jason Tindal, head football coach at Sanderson. “Not only does Perry set the example at practice and on the game field, but he works especially hard to set a positive example in the classroom. Perry performs at a level like no one I have ever seen. He is an ideal example of what it means to be a student-athlete.”
Between studying for his tough classes, football and track, Simmons also finds time to volunteer and help out in his community. As a member of the National Honor Society, he does multiple community service projects each month.
Simmons also put in a lot of his time to help out the AE Finley YMCA in Raleigh. He started out in the tutoring program, helping younger students with their homework, and then started helping out with the after school sports activities. In addition, Simmons plays guitar for Crossroads Fellowship Church “Worship Team”, a teenage band that plays music for kids and other church members. He also helps the church with community outreach programs such as school clean ups, fixing up houses and providing meals for the homeless.
Andy George of the Fellowship Church had the following to say about Simmons, “He has a great personality and is positive at all times. At the church, he is always our go-to-guy because he will do anything you ask of him. Because of his upbeat personality and enthusiastic attitude, he is a natural leader and is successful in whatever he does.”
During this high school football season, the Carolina Panthers will select ten Community Captains based on nominations received from high school administrators and media representatives. Recipients will receive an authentic Carolina Panthers Community Captain jersey and have the opportunity to participate in select Panthers community outreach events during the current academic year. Recipients will be honored during an on-field ceremony at the Panthers home game versus the Denver Broncos on December 14, 2008 at Bank of America Stadium.
The Carolina Panthers Community Captain program recognizes outstanding high school football student-athletes in North and South Carolina who have demonstrated strong leadership skills on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. The program encourages these future college and NFL players to continue in their positive development as leaders and role models in their communities.