Pearl Cohn High School Football player goes viral after JJ Watt tweet during NSF Draft

Robert J. Cassidy
Freelance Writer

I think back a few years ago, one Saturday afternoon I can recall my father pointing out a figure on the large 65-inch flat screen, which my family had just acquired from Amazon. At the time, I had no clue who, or rather even what it was that I can possibly be looking at! I had no idea The Manster (Randy White) was playing college football again at his age? Fast forwarding a set of maybe two or three haircuts later, I am on my phone hearing about this same Behemoth out of Wisconsin – who by the way,
at the time was measuring approximately 6-foot-5 inches tall and weighing in at nearly 300 lbs. – getting ready for all of our ‘favorite’ mock-drafts. I did not know anything other than two factors regarding the astonishing defensive tackle; his arms were virtually the same size as his legs, and that the player I was referring to would eventually come even further out of his shell, ultimately re-defining what the position of a defensive lineman would bring to the game of football…Oh yes, maybe you’ve heard of him by now
– his name is J.J. Watt.

The game of football from an outside perspective has changed so much and shall continue to change, one thing that will never change is the tough, mean, grueling, nasty ‘Big Uglies’ , as they prefer to be called, otherwise known as offensive lineman and defensive lineman. No matter the outcome
showboat stats produce when the fourth quarter comes to an end, I know from my own personal experience – just as any true football fan will tell you – the game is won based on the battle up-front on the line of scrimmage. Who is going to dominate more than the other for a full four quarters of football?

Once and a while, there may be the next, “Barry Sanders” or maybe even the next “Gale Sayers”. The reality is that nine times out of ten, the next … just never seems to be who they once were perceived to be. Until now, have I truly been convinced that there may be hope for that prophecy to be
fulfilled; of course, if a man of J.J. Watt’s status can speak out on a football phenomenon from the other side of the country, post draft, you’re bound to grab my attention. Did I also mention this viral powerhouse who has not even been able to take his drivers’ license exam yet is local!

Yes, folks, that’s right! During the recent 2019 NFL Draft, Pearl Cohn Musical Magnet football captain, “Elijah Simmons” or “The Big E” appeared on stage can clearly mark this one life-defining night in the books -one moment after the next. Watt’s recognition of this young, dynamic prospect with a near certainty to potentially note as the next player for the ages came who stands at a clean 6-foot-2 inches and an astonishing 340 lb. instantly blew up twitter. “Can we draft #72 from the Tennessee Metro High School Team? Kid looks like a beast.”, tweeted Watt. As the young man, who has committed to a full ride to The University of Tennessee, Knoxville was quick to respond expressing “The Big E'(Simmons) would be spending his collegiate career with them for the next few years.

Simmons is set to begin training with the Vols in the summer. He said he hopes to one day play for his favorite team – the New England Patriots.

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