After having the chance to interview Jamie Wood, Carlos Hyde, and Jordan Hall, we get the chance to move back over to the defensive side of the ball, as we sat down with John Simon (or "All Flannel Tops" as he is affectionately known around here) of Youngstown Cardinal Mooney.
Simon was one of the first to sign onto the Class of 2009 and chose the Bucks over offers from Notre Dame, Illinois, Nebraska, Stanford,and Pittsburgh, among others. John is listed at 6-3/285 and with most of that 285 pounds consisting of pure muscle, he seems to be ready to compete at the college level as a true freshman. The Buckeyes are certainly lucky to be getting this Scout.com 5-star recruit and U.S. Army All-American, as Nader Abdallah, the teams best defensive tackle last season, has graduated, leaving a position in the rotation open. Check out what Simon had to say about the opportunity to play this season, who would win a fight between him and Kelly Pavlik, and what he thinks about Jamie Wood's opinion of his 'all flannel tops and jeans'.
You committed pretty early in the recruiting process, even though schools like Notre Dame were recruiting you hard. What about Ohio State made you so sure this is where you wanted to play your college football? Ohio State really stuck out to me because of the family atmosphere. You can tell all the players and the coaches came together to form a team.
What do you plan to major in at Ohio State? I will major in exercise science. I hope to one day become a strength coach.
You've had a lot of time to hang out with your fellow class members. What is the most interesting thing you've learned about this group of guys so far? That’s a tough one. I'd have to say each one of us seems to be preparing everyday for college. We have a very respectable and hard working class.
There is a lot of depth at Defensive Tackle on the roster this year. What do you need to do to stand out from the group and earn some playing time as a freshman? I feel I have to come in and go all out every play and just do anything extra I can.
What was it like playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl? How did you and the other Buckeyes in the game compare to the rest of the nation's top talent? It was a great honor playing in the U.S. Army All-American Game. I was able to compete against the best players in the country. The Ohio State players played great games and made some huge plays.
What current or former Buckeye does your style/skill set compare to? What current/former NFL player does your style/skill set compare to? I don't know it’s hard to compare myself to other players.
Who benches more, you or your dad? Myself (laughing)
Being from Youngstown, who would win a fight-you or Kelly Pavlik? Another tough one (laughing). Youngstown guys don't fight each other. He's the pride of Youngstown.
Buckeye Nation knows you are a big, strong defensive tackle who works hard, but what can you tell them about yourself that they don't already know? I’m dying to be a Buckeye!
In an interview we did with Jamie Wood he suggested if he could give on of the guys in this class fashion tips it would be you, saying you were "all flannel tops and jeans right now". What's your feeling on this and will you be getting rid of the flannel tops and jeans anytime soon? (Laughing) Nah, I will not be getting rid of them. I wear what’s comfortable and though I respect Jamie's fashion, it's not for me. You gotta be yourself.
And now for some highlights: