2003: Simmons, a solid veteran, started for his second year at weakside linebacker as a senior in 2003 (it was his third year in a lineup for the one-time Washington State starter). Overall in 2003 while appearing in 12 games (all but Arizona) and starting 10 times (all but Arizona, UCLA and Oregon State), he made 55 tackles, including 8 for losses of 17 yards, plus had 3 fumble recoveries and 3 deflections. He suffered a leg bruise at Washington, which sidelined him for the Arizona game. He was named to the 2003 All-Pac-10 honorable mention squad. He had a team-best 13 tackles at Notre Dame (2 for losses), 9 at California (3 were for losses) and 8 at Washington (2 for losses). He had fumble recoveries against BYU, California and Oregon State (all set up USC TDs). He was a 2003 USC team co-captain and won USC's Courage Award. He participated in the Hula Bowl.
2002: After sitting out the 2001 season, Simmons emerged as the starting weakside linebacker as a junior in 2002. Overall in 2002 while starting all 13 games, he had 71 tackles (second on USC), including 6.5 for losses of 23 yards (with 2.5 tackles for 19 yards), plus 5 deflections, a fumble recovery and 2 interceptions that he returned 10 yards (5.0 avg.). He had 5 stops (1.5 for loss, with a sack) against Auburn in his Trojan debut, then had 9 tackles at Colorado and a game-high 11 tackles (1.5 for loss) at Kansas State. He added a tackle against Oregon State, 4 stops with a deflection at Washington State and 5 tackles (2 for losses) against California. He had a game-best 7 tackles against Washington, 1 tackle at Oregon (plus an interception to set up a TD), 10 tackles (0.5 sacks) at Stanford and then he intercepted a pass (to set up a USC TD) to go along with his 2 tackles (1 was a sack) and 1 deflection at Arizona State. He added 6 stops, a fumble recovery and a deflection at UCLA. Against Notre Dame, he had a team-high 7 tackles with a deflection. He had 3 tackles and a deflection against Iowa in the Orange Bowl.
2001: As a junior linebacker in 2001, Simmons had to sit out the season after transferring from Washington State (a year was waived from the 2-year in-conference transfer rule, making him eligible in 2002 instead of 2003).
WASHINGTON STATE: He started 10 games at both middle and weakside linebacker as a 2000 sophomore at Washington State, getting 59 tackles (fourth on WSU), including 7 for losses of 24 yards (with 4 sacks for 19 yards), plus a deflection. He posted 9 stops against Stanford, 7 versus Washington and Utah and 6 (with 2 sacks) against Arizona State in 2001. He missed the 2000 California game with a shoulder injury.
He saw action in 12 games as a first-year freshman in 1999, as a reserve linebacker and on special teams. He had 6 tackles in 1999.
HIGH SCHOOL: He received Blue Chip All-American, Super Prep All-Far West, All-CIF and All-League MVP honors as a 1998 senior at Dominguez High in Compton (Calif.). He made 142 tackles with 5 sacks in 1998.
As a 1997 junior, he made All-League first team while notching 138 tackles (with 6 sacks).
He was on the All-State Sophomore and All-League second team as a 1996 sophomore as Dominguez won the CIF title. Current Trojans LaJuan Ramsey and Justin Wyatt also prepped at Dominguez.
He also was on the track and baseball teams at Dominguez.
PERSONAL: He's a social science/history major at USC. He made the 2002 Pac-10 All-Academic second team. His nickname is "Champ." He is the second oldest of 11 siblings (7 boys). His brother, Marvin, is a sophomore linebacker at Kansas State.
MELVIN SIMMONS ON: Sitting out the 2001 season: "What many people don't understand is that when you sit out a year, you get so hungry."
WHAT OTHERS SAY: USC head coach Pete Carroll: "He's a real instinctive player. He's a natural at linebacker and has a feel for plugging holes and scrapping and adjusting to plays. He understands the game well."