Ohio State coach Urban Meyer described defensive end John Simon as “Tebowish”. That comment formed a very confused expression on my face. But then I began to think about it, and the comparisons are fair.
Like Tebow, Simon was a very highly recruited high school player who stayed in his home state.
Like Tebow, Simon was mainly a reserve as a freshman before becoming a full time (and very successful) starter in his sophomore year.
Like Tebow, Simon sets the bar extremely high as a leader and a teammate. Simon is an absolute animal in the weight room and is almost as intense off of the field as he is on it.
Like Tebow, Simon’s biggest concerns heading into the NFL are what position he will play. Simon plays a hybrid defensive tackle/end role in the Ohio State defense. He doesn’t really have the length to play end at the NFL level, but he doesn’t offer the girth to play the tackle role either.
Like Tebow, Simon will probably be drafted earlier than expected. Tebow was, to some, a surprise first rounder despite major concerns about his ability to play the quarterback position. Simon could be a top 50 pick despite a very un-ideal body type. 6’1″-2″, 260 pound defensive lineman with short arms are almost cringe-worthy in some GM’s eyes.
So maybe the Tebow comparison isn’t too ridiculous. I have loved watching Simon play since he rotated in as a freshman. I wouldn’t call him a freak athlete, but he is certainly a freak of effort. I haven’t seen anyone go as consistently hard as Simon since Chris Long or Tamba Hali. And I don’t know if anyone goes as hard as he does off of the field. Relentless is the best word that describes the young man.
He screams New England Patriots to me. He has Belichick’s ideal player personality. He was coached by Urban Meyer, a friend of Belichick. Former Patriot Mike Vrabel is on the Ohio State coaching staff as well. He just seems like one of those guys that Bill brings in and finds the perfect role for.
John Simon will have the body-type scouts yawning. He won’t blow up the combine at anything except maybe the bench press. But I agree with Dave Brugler when he said that every defensive line coach in the country would be begging to have him on their team.