The past is the past and there is sometimes no escaping it. Just ask former Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and Colorado State wide receiver Preston Williams how that story goes right now.
In a society where haters will go to unusual and often unnecessary lengths to dig up dirt, there are also examples about how one bad decision can alter future opportunities. Both Simmons and Williams found that out the hard way because the NFL has told them they will not be invited to the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine this year.
According to NFL.com reporter Tom Pelissero, both draft prospects will not be receiving invites to the NFL Combine because they don’t meet the criteria under the NFL’s policy about past issues involving violence.
Simmons, who recorded 157 tackles, including seven sacks, with four forced fumbles and six passes defended in three seasons with the Bulldogs in the SEC, could be a potential top-10 pick in the first round of this spring’s 2019 NFL Draft. However, an arrest in 2016 after a physical altercation with a woman will not allow him to participate in the prestigious scouting combine.
After the arrest, which was before he arrived on the MSU campus in Starkville, the 6-foot-4, 300-pound Simmons was charged with simple assault and disturbing the peace. He pleaded no contest, was fined $500 for simple assault, another $3000 for being found guilty of malicious mischief, and paid another $800-plus in restitution.
Chances are the now 21-year-old defensive lineman learned his lesson from his teenage mistake. That’s still not going to allow him the chance to compete at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana from February 26 to March 4.
Although Williams is not considered a top draft prospect, an arrest in 2017 for an altercation with a woman, where he pleaded guilty to a harassment charge and received a deferred sentence, is also keeping him from the NFL Combine.
There will come a time when both college football players will have their chance to impress NFL teams and general managers. It just won’t be at the combine due to their past.