One of the things that the San Diego Chargers do as well if not better than any NFL team is finding Undrafted Free Agent talent. Defensive Back Traye Simmons is no exception to this trait.
This is one guy fans should definitely keep their eyes on as he could rise to be great in the near future. He played 2 years at College of Sequoias (JUCO) and 2 years at University of Minnesota. Coming out of Minnesota and entering the NFL draft in 2010, Traye Simmons was expecting to hear his name called within the 5-7 round range. He was a standout player for Minnesota and led the Big Ten in pass break ups in 2009 and was 5th overall in the nation! He plays with great speed and shows big time play making ability which he showed off during his time in Minnesota. After joining the team in 2010, Traye Simmons spent his rookie season on the practice squad. His time was spent training, conditioning, studying, watching, and improving his overall game to bring him to the next level at the NFL. He could definitely be a future factor in our Chargers defense and it is definitely nice to know the serious talent we have in depth on roster.
Here is a breakdown of Traye Simmons college career at Minnesota:
2008: 61 tackles, 12 pass break ups, 4 interceptions (1 for TD)
2009: 33 tackles, 8 pass break ups, 2 interceptions
This week I was able to sit down and have have Traye answer some questions EXCLUSIVELY for Bolt Beat and our fellow Chargers fans! So here we go.
10 questions with Traye Simmons of the San Diego Chargers!
1. You led conference and fifth in the nation with 14 Pass Break Ups in ’08. During your 2008-09 seasons at Minnesota you totaled 95 tackles, six INTs and 22 Pass Break Ups. What made you so successful in the Big-Ten?
I loved the competitive ‘tough guy’ attitude the Big Ten conference embraced & I always had to play great to compete every Saturday. I just tried to make plays to help us get the W.
2. You spend 2010 on practice squad. What kind of experience, knowledge, or growth came along with that?
Going against the #1 offense in the league helped me get better everyday. Being with all the guys on D all year was influential also. Getting a chance to see guys like Jammer & Cason having solid seasons before my eyes was a learning experience.
3. In practice, when you guys run drills you are defending against some of the best WR’s and arguably the best Quarterback in the league. Could this explain why the Chargers defense was so good in 2010?
There’s a lot of competition & personal battles going on out there for practice. I’m sure the level of intensity for practice transfers to both offense & defense.
4. Have your family and friends always been supportive and encouraging of your dreams to play in the NFL?
My family & friends have done an outstanding job with supporting my playing football since my younger years. They are very proud & are huge fans
5. What would you say are your 3 best qualities that you bring to the San Diego Chargers roster?
I feel I bring play making ability, speed & a smart savvy player to our team
6. What’s the funniest prank you’ve seen since joining the team last year?
Seeing our D-line throw a rookie trainer in the cold tub.
7. In free agency, you basically had the opportunity to workout for any team. What made you pick San Diego?
San Diego signs a lot of good undrafted guys that turn out to be ballers in the league. Guys like Antonio Gates.. who went to the same JUCO as I did. Who would say no to San Diego weather?
8. If you could be coached and mentored by any present or past time NFL player who would it be and why?
Deion Sanders. He’s the best CB to play that position in my lifetime. And he made it look so good.
9. What does the average workout for Traye Simmons look like with the lockout in place?
I workout 4 or 5 times a week. Most of my workout consist lifting & doing ball drills. I love getting on the field & work with the ball.
10. What overall can we expect from Traye Simmons in 2011?
I’m not sure what we’ll see but I’m sure it’ll be exciting for me in 2011.
I feel I bring play making ability, speed & a smart savvy player to our team – Traye Simmons