Mississippi State announced that nine football players from the 2016 signing class have enrolled as classes started for the June term on Thursday.
Among those beginning both their academic and football careers as Bulldogs is Noxubee County defensive end Jeffery Simmons, who was charged with disturbing the peace and simple assault for striking a female in an altercation involving his sister at an apartment complex in Macon on March 24.
Simmons, a five-star prospect and the top-rated recruit in Mississippi, has been permitted to enroll at MSU “with conditions” according to a release from the university. The 6-foot-4, 277-pounder will be suspended for the first game of his college career, must be evaluated by MSU’s Student Counseling Services and will have to complete any program that office prescribes.
“Based on conversations our staff has had with school, community and church leaders in Noxubee County, this incident appears to be uncharacteristic of Jeffery,” MSU director of athletics Scott Stricklin said. “It’s a highly unique circumstance to administer discipline to a student for an incident that occurred prior to that individual joining our university. However, it’s important that Jeffery ankd other potential MSU students understand that these type of actions and poor decisions are not acceptable.
“We expect the structure and discipline Jeffery will be a part of in our football program to benefit him. Jeffery will be held accountable for his actions while at MSU, and there will be consequences for any future incidents.”
Simmons was videoed striking a female later identified as Sophia Taylor in the face multiple times as she was on the ground. Simmons’ issued a public apology on his Facebook page two days later but later removed the post.
Simmons’ court date was continued on May 10 and is due back in court on June 14. Both charges he faces are misdemeanors.
Joining Simmons on the Starkville campus for the first summer term are athletes Korey Charles of Tallahassee, Florida, and Jamal Couch of Phenix City, Alabama, offensive linemen Greg Eiland of Philadelphia and Stewart Reese of Fort Pierce, Florida, tight end Jordan Thomas from East Central Community College, defensive linemen Kobe Jones of Starkville and Marquiss Spencer of Greenwood and linebacker Erroll Thompson of Florence, Alabama.
Cornerbacks C.J. Morgan-Walker and Lashard Durr, tight ends Dontea Jones and Christian Roberson and defensive tackle Tre Brown from the 2016 class enrolled in January.