Tennessee 2019 signee Elijah Simmons already has had quite the start to his career. The 6-0, 350 pound defensive tackle has already captured the attention of NFL star J.J. Watt. Now he’s showing off his surprising athleticism on the basketball court.
This week he made good on an ongoing back and forth with head coach Jeremy Pruitt, taking off and dunking just as he told Pruitt he could back in December.
“I asked him the other day, how much do you weigh? and he said 352,” Pruitt said during the early signing period. “I told him, when we offered you a scholarship, our agreement was that you had to be 325. He said, well coach, I can dunk a basketball right now. I said, well I want you to video and send it to me.
Simmons did that, but it was an alley-oop — and not exactly a convincing alley-oop at that.
“Well, he did dunk it,” Pruitt said of the first attempt. “But it was an alley-oop, so I told him that he had to get to 325 so he could get off the ground with a ball in his hand to do it. So that tells you a little bit about how he can move.”
On Wednesday, Simmons fully delivered on the promise. He threw down a one-handed dunk, then turned around and drained a full-court shot for style points.
Simmons is a three-star defensive tackle out of Nashville that has yet to officially join the roster yet, but he’s already shown that he’s one of the larger personalities on the team. It remains to be seen how quickly he can find the field, but he seems like he’s going to be a source of entertainment over the next four years.