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Do big things come in small walk-on packages?
This story originally published on
Cougfan.com Senior Correspondent
Posted Feb 20, 2013
GRAHAM-KAPOWSIN HIGH’S Leo Simmons III doesn't necessarily stand out as a big football body. But new WSU inside receivers coach David Yost saw something in him. What Simmons lacks in size, he’s made up for in work ethic throughout his football career and says he will walk on at Washington State and bring his drive and dedication to the Cougar football team in 2013.
checks in at all of 5-5, 143-pounds. Most everyone has probably told him he’s too small to play in the Pac-12.
Most everyone, that is, except Yost.
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The in-state product informed CF.C on Tuesday evening that after speaking with newly hired wide receivers coach David Yost in mid-January, he’s joining the Cougs later this summer as a preferred walk-on.
"I was just talking with Coach Yost about the future of WSU and he told me it's a great program and with walking on, you still get the benefits of training with the team and you still have the possibility of redshirting. He told me that with hard and work improving my skill set, I could make a difference for the Cougars down the road."
Simmons III was a versatile athlete for the Eagles in 2012, playing inside wide receiver, running back, defensive back and he was a standout on special teams in the SPSL 4A league. His 40 time is in the 4.59 range, he has a max bench of 205, max squat of 305 and max power clean of 195 pounds.
"The coaches like my work ethic and how physical I am for being such a small guy," he said. "I'm not scared of contact and I'm always ready to go all out. They said I'd get my first look at special teams and then at the slot wide receiver position."
official stats weren’t available at press time, Simmons III said he had several forced fumbles on both special teams and defense and that he was also a difference maker at both RB and WR. Simmons III was behind All-SPSL RB
on the depth chart, who rushed for 25 touchdowns this season.
The tiny speedster added that he has set a goal of gaining 20 pounds before his arrival to the Palouse later this summer.
"I'm currently working out every day with Khalil Dawson (Portland State signee)," Simmons III said. "We're running routes on the field and doing a lot of weight lifting. I've also changed my diet up. I'm eating a lot more, especially proteins."
Simmons III added that he is hoping to arrive to Pullman in early June to begin taking classes and participate in the voluntary summer workouts.
"It's just a dream for me knowing I'll be able to play D-I football next season," Simmons III said. "I like the challenges that will be ahead of me. I'm thrilled because I'll get to be around so much talent and I'll have the chance to grow as a player both on and off the field."
Leo Simmons III senior highlights
The WSU media guide doesn’t list the heights on all the players through the years but does note RB Blair Hawkins was 5-6. WR Curtis Nettles and RB Rich Reed are among those listed at 5-7. QB Butch Meeker’s height isn’t listed, just his weight – 145 pounds – but he might well have been 5-5 according to WSU football historians.
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