By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine
I remember watching the Captain Shreve football team in 2020 and seeing a number of Division I prospects in person as I was on the field during pregame warmups. There was Kendrick Law Jr., who signed with Alabama, and others. There was one young player who got my attention, and his name was Scotty Simo. All he did was make plays and play the game as it’s supposed to be played: one speed, full throttle.
I did not think of him two years ago as an FCS or Division II or D-III player. It just caught my attention to keep an eye on him for later on. So here we are two years later and he’s one of the top leaders for the Gators. He’s grown to 5-10, 195, and he is still that full-throttle guy. I was very impressed in 2021 when watching a game where Simo had several solo tackles on a great Class of 2023 running back by the name of Trey Holly of Union Parish, who you might have heard of since he has a chance this fall to break the record for yards in a career for a Louisiana running back – and he’s an LSU commitment.
So does Simo have FBS or FCS size? No, but what he has you can’t coach. He’s a “football player,” and there’s a place for players like this in college. He would be a big-time Division II linebacker with just a little more weight (200-plus), and for a Division III team, he’d be a steal. If he walked on to an FCS program, he’d be the type of player who would start within two years. If he decided to walk on at an FBS program, he would be a leader in the locker room, on the team, and play special teams within a year or two.
Linebacker coach Chip Kendall sees Simo making a smooth transition to inside linebacker.
“Scotty Simo was first team all-district as the defensive flex player last year, which perfectly describes how he worked in our defense,” Kendall said. “Simo was our outside linebacker, which is probably the most important position in our defense. He had to be able to step up on the line and set the edge in some calls, and at other times he had to cover a slot-wide receiver like a defensive back.
“Scotty did these things so well, he was recognized on the all-district team,” Kendall said. “During this past offseason, Scotty got stronger and gained some weight. This will be a transition year for Simo; with our losses at middle linebacker to graduation, we decided to move him inside, and he has picked it up quickly. His reads on defense and knowledge of our calls have been outstanding. He’s a leader; he lets guys know when they need to step up. His work ethic on the field carries over to the classroom. I don’t have to worry if he’s taking care of his grades or if he’s a discipline problem. We will be expecting a lot out of Scotty; he knows this and he embraces it. I’m looking forward to seeing his hard work pay off this season.”
Simo says he likes playing linebacker because of the leadership role that comes with it.
“What I enjoy most about football, apart from being a linebacker and getting to hit people, is the leader role that comes with being the QB of the defense,” said Simo. “While it does bring more pressure, I like that. I love my teammates knowing I’m the guy to come to if they are confused about anything. I like knowing, no matter the call, what all 11 starters’ jobs are on any given play. Football isn’t just about physicality; it’s a game of wits and if you’re not doing your job every play, then that will lead to a score. So making sure we are all in sync is my job.”
Notes on Scotty Simo: He recorded 52 tackles, 7 1/2 tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles, one safety and a pass deflection last fall.
Simo on his hobbies: “ I enjoy hoops with my friends whenever we are all free, playing video games such as 2K or Call of Duty, and walking or playing with my dog.”
On family and football: “My dad Scotty Simo Sr. and my uncle Jonathan Simo both still hold a lot of records at Loyola Prep. My dad only played his senior year, though, and my uncle played all throughout high school.”
In the classroom he has a GPA of 4.1 and ACT score of 22.
Thoughts on his favorite colleges: “LSU. I grew up watching them and being surrounded by LSU fans. Texas Tech for no real reason; they just have a nice football program. Louisiana Tech has a nice football program and I’ve been to their campus before.”
He would like to major in physical therapy. “I had a knee injury during the spring, which led to me going to physical therapy this whole summer. Before, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, but this has brought a lot of interest in physical therapy to me.”
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