Jeffery Simmons, the top-rated signee in Mississippi State’s 2016 recruiting class, allegedly struck a woman several times on Thursday, according to a WCBI report.
The report cites a video that appears to show Simmons, a top five defensive end from Noxubee County (Miss.) who was considered the state’s best recruit, hitting a woman on the ground several times. Simmons was set to enroll at Mississippi State this summer.
Mississippi State has not commented on the incident, and coach Dan Mullen did not return multiple requests for comment from Gannett partner The Clarion Ledger in Jackson on the situation.
Simmons posted an apology on his Facebook account to the Taylor family and specifically Sophia Taylor. The Clarion-Ledger hasn’t confirmed that the apology is tied to the alleged assault. The apology has since been deleted, but here is the text:
“Where do I start? Where do I begin? Wow! Decisions, choices, and actions should always be carefully thought through when incidents occur. I take full responsibility for my actions that occurred on Thursday evening. My apology goes out to the Taylor Family and especially to Sophia Taylor.
“What was I thinking? Honestly, I wasn’t thinking, all I could think was this is my family and I am supposed to defend my family. Many know my deceased nephews were my pride and joy, I do everything I do in honor of the life they never got the chance to live, and to listen to someone speak to terrible about them really caused me to make choices, decisions and act in a manor (sic) that was out of character for me. Is that an excuse?… NO!
“I truly hope that you will find it in your hearts to forgive me for my actions. I want to apologize to those that have supported me, those who look up to me and those who I consider family. I hope that each of you will accept my apology. I was raised in church, I’ve asked for forgiveness and I pray for God’s continued guidance as I move forward in becoming a better person.”
The police in Macon, Miss., are aware of the incident but charges have not been filed and the police have not commented.
Contributing: The Clarion-Ledger