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Scrimmage notes: Tide wide receiver continues to surge forward

Alabama wide receiver T.J. Simmons (No. 16) catching passes in position drills before last week's scrimmage: Stephen Smith - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

He’s really pushing for field time in the upcoming season.

After being one of multiple offensive standouts in last week’s scrimmage, sophomore wide receiver T.J. Simmons followed up the performance with more plays on Friday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Per a source close to Touchdown Alabama Magazine, Simmons brought in a couple of passes with one resulting in a touchdown.

He collected a score in the first exhibition on seven catches.

“He’s probably the most physical receiver we have when it comes to getting yards after the catch,” the source said on Simmons. “He reminds me a lot of ArDarius Stewart. Not overly explosive, but he does produce a lot of juice and a second gear once he reaches the open field.”

An alumnus of Clay-Chalkville High School, Simmons tallied 47 catches for 1,228 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns during his senior year in 2015. Rated a four-star prospect, the 6-foot-2 and 202-pounder was a January enrollee at University of Alabama as part of the 2016 recruiting class.

“All the receivers are good, but Simmons is special,” the source said. “He’s got size and the ability to break tackles after the catch. He has the strength to throw defenders on the ground. Will not be brought down by one guy.”

This type of surge and consistency is what head coach Nick Saban wants to see more of from the Crimson Tide’s receiving corps. The expectation for solid play is all over junior target Calvin Ridley, but Saban and wide receivers coach Mike Locksley want to see more from Robert Foster, Cam Sims and others.

Snippets of the Tide’s second scrimmage was posted on Twitter. One of Simmons receptions can be seen 25 seconds into the 50-second video. With A-Day scheduled for next week, Simmons continues to push ahead.

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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