October 25, 2010

Simmons, Jackson enjoy official to Iowa

McKeesport, Pennsylvania head coach Jim Ward was one of the first people to hear about Branden Jackson and Delvon Simmons' trip to Iowa over the weekend, and based on what he heard the Hawkeyes drew positive reviews from both prospects.

It was Jackson's third official visit of the recruiting process and Simmons' second, and the pair of three-star prospects were treated to a great game between Wisconsin and Iowa, with the Badgers winning in the fourth quarter.

"They both got back today," Ward said. "I spoke with Branden at length today before practice and I spoke to Delvon about it more on Sunday, not so much today.

"Both kids really liked Iowa. They got a chance to see the game day atmosphere and they spent some time with the players. They met the coaches and saw the facilities, things of that nature. I think both kids were very impressed by all of that."

Both prospects will probably be taking an official visit to Oregon on November 6. The Ducks offered both prospects scholarships a couple of weeks ago and they have been anxious to check out the Pac 10 school since then.

"I could see them both taking all five (officials) and I could see neither one of them going on another after the trip to Oregon," Ward continued. "I could see them making a decision in mid-November or waiting until closer to Signing Day, maybe in January.

"Personally I'd like to see them make their decisions as soon as possible but they've got to make the best decision for them and make sure they don't feel rushed into something."

Syracuse, Michigan State and North Carolina are schools that could receive consideration for official visits down the road. Both prospects took unofficial visits to North Carolina earlier in the recruiting process but the Tar Heels have not kept in quite the same level of contact as they had before.

"I have not heard from North Carolina in about a month," Ward said. "I hear from each of the other schools recruiting them about weekly. I'm not even exactly sure where they stand. I know Delvon did speak with somebody from there but I'm kind of out of the loop on them because of the turmoil that took place down there. I know they were both extremely impressed when they went down for an unofficial visit."

Jackson is a three-star prospect and ranked the No. 41 defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com, and Simmons is a three-star prospect and ranked the No. 41 defensive tackle in the nation.

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