The USC Trojans picked up a big defensive chess piece earlier this year when Lincoln High School star Julien Simon selected USC over the in-state powers from the state of Washington.
Simon represents the nation’s sixth-ranked outside linebacker prospect for the class of 2021 and is the fourth-best player from his state, according to the 247Sports Composite. At 6’2, 221 with great speed, Simon can play multiple positions along the defense and compares to former UCLA LB/FB Myles Jack.
Position versatility, can play linebacker or safety, and can play running back or receiver. Projects best, though, at linebacker, where he can play either inside or outside. Able to diagnose plays with instincts and quickness to jump routes and break on the ball. Tremendous ball skills and has high volume of interceptions from his linebacker spot. Can run and get into the backfield and drop the ball-carrier or run stride-for-stride in pass coverage. Able to cover backs, tight ends and receivers. Projects as multi-year Power 5 starter and second day NFL draft pick.
His multiple evaluations discuss his versatility.
Versatile athlete who can play running back, receiver or linebacker but projects to linebacker in college. Quickly diagnoses plays and gets an uncanny break on passes with a nose for the ball and great ball skills. Cleans up broken plays quickly with his ability to run and get to the ball carrier. Excels in coverage but equally adept at stopping the run. Projects as immediate Power 5 starter and future first-round NFL draft pick.
Now that we know he’s decided to forgo his final senior season in high school due to the coronavirus pandemic pushing fall sports back, we can take a look at his full high school resumè. With that versatility in mind, and that comparison, let’s take a look at how Simon has fared through his days in high school football.
He’s been working hard this offseason still.