In a day filled with a constant stream of Michigan State football news, yet another headline dropped over the dinner hour. This time, it was All-Big Ten linebacker Antjuan Simmons making the news. Specifically, Antjuan declared that he was forgoing a possible fifth year of eligibility next year in order to enter his name into the 2021 NFL Draft. “It’s time to take the next step and chase my dreams,” said Simmons via Twitter.
Ima bleed Green and White till I die! SpartanDawg for life! pic.twitter.com/ejWxXvlzyP— وحش (@_antjuan_) December 18, 2020
Simmons was the unquestioned leader of defense in 2020 and his absence will certainly be missed. He led all Spartans with 75 total tackles, 28 of which were solo tackles and nine of which were for a loss. By comparison, the Spartan with the second most tackles on the team was Noah Harvey, who collected a total of 54.
This productivity resulted in Simmons being voted onto the 2020 All-Big Ten Defensive team. The coaches voted him onto the third team, while the media placed him onto the second team. This marks Antjuan’s second appearance on the All-Big Ten Defensive team, as he earned an honorable mention from both the media and coaches following his junior year in 2019.
Simmons finished his career with a total of 230 tackles, four-and-a-half sacks, three fumble recoveries, and an interception. He was also responsible for one of the signature plays of the entire 2020 season for the Green and White when he deflected and almost intercepted a goal line pass from the Michigan Wolverines that would have tied the score. The play was generally recognized as the key turning point of the game.
Antjuan came to MSU as a consensus four-star and top 300 recruit as member of the 2017 recruiting class. Simmons hails, ironically, from Ann Arbor Pioneer High School which is so close to the Big House that its parking lot is used for parking on Football Saturdays. He now departs East Lansing as a true leader and fan favorite.
Here at the The Only Colors, we would like to wish Antjuan the best of luck in the NFL Draft and in all of his future endeavors.