TAMPA – Competition breeds success and for cornerback Timarcus Simpson, he made the switch to Sickles for that exact reason. After a solid showing this season, the rising junior is in line for a full-time starting role for the Gryphons.
Simpson is working on getting more explosive and improve his hips even further. The 6’0″, 175-pounder says he feels that his hips are better than a season ago. After transferring from Carrollwood Day School following his freshman year looking to gain exposure from college coaches, Simpson already has two interested Division-I programs in North Carolina and Michigan State.
He says his first season at Sickles was a great experience. Making the jump from Class 2A to 7A is a big deal, but Simpson didn’t get bothered by the higher level of talent.
“It’s a big change from Carrollwood Day School to Sickles,” Simpson said. “You have to compete every day in practice because the guys behind you are working just as hard to play. It was a fun year. We had some good and bad games.”
The Gryphons defense excelled at a high level, recording six shutouts, including five at home as they finished 8-3. As a whole, they allowed only 11.5 points per game. In the region quarterfinal, Sickles fell 55-26, but Simpson says he learned a ton from the game.
He matched up with Lakeland’s five-star wide receiver James Robinson who stands at a lengthy 6’4″ and is coveted by almost every Division-I program.
Former Jesuit wide receivers coach Patrick Murphy earned the head coaching job on Feb. 2 following Brian Turner’s departure after six seasons at Sickles. Murphy served as a quarterbacks and wide receivers coach in Tennessee over the last 10 years after a short stint at Jesuit (2004-05).
Simpson had nothing but kind words for his new head coach.
“He’s a great guy. I’ve bonded with him already. He knows what he is talking about and I like the fact that he doesn’t procrastinate. He jumps right on it with football stuff and fundraisers.”
Spring practice begins on Monday and all Simpson can think about is going “hardcore.”
“I know we have to work together and I personally have to have a breakout year.”
In four games as a sophomore, Simpson recorded 12 tackles, four pass breakups and an interception. He also saw time at wide receiver, catching a pass for 12 yards. He sat out six games due to personal reasons but expects to contribute at wideout on top of his starting role as a cornerback.
Simpson prides himself at being one of the leaders for his group.
“I’m one of the leaders of this defense and with that mindset I have to lead my example on and off the field. I always have to do the right thing because people are watching.”
He took part in the Spring E7 Training Camp at Southeastern University in Lakeland earlier this month and said it was great because he was able to show how much of a competitor he can be.
Starting to play football at age four, Simpson remembers the good ole’ days when him and his dad threw the football around.
“As I got older I realized how football could be a life learned lesson. You have to go 110% at everything you do in life.”
His close relationship with his dad is something that he really values.
“My dad is one of my top role models because he stays on me. He wants me to work hard and be successful. He wants me to take it to the next level and succeed.”
Living by the motto instilled by his dad that every play is your last, Simpson’s goal is to always get better on and off the field. He says that there’s always room to improve and that you can never truly know when your last play is going to be.
Simpson says his biggest strengths are his leaping ability, prowess at reading receivers routes before they happen and determining their releases. He believes that you have to have solid hips and be very explosive to be a good cornerback. I can’t agree more.
Working on becoming a better teammate and a more polished leader, Simpson knows that his coaches and teammates are always looking at him which helps him get amped up for games and practices.
Fellow Class of 2018 teammates, running back/linebacker Brandon Brooks, safety Jontrey Hunter and cornerback Jordan McCloud are players that Sickles will lean upon along with Simpson. This is a very talented team and Simpson has very high expectations for this group.
“We have a lot to prove but we are working hard on the field and off the field. This year is going to be the year that Sickles will make things happen in the football program.”
Big things are coming from Sickles this upcoming season and from Simpson, who is ready to breakout. This kid is dripping with talent. He has top-end speed and his cover skills are impressive. In a full season, I expect Simpson to have a stellar showing. Both smart and athletic, he is determined to become an all-around player.
Playlist before games – “Last Breath” – Future
Favorite movies and TV shows – Remember the Titans, ESPN
Fun fact – I like to read. Argumentative and informational books
Nickname – ‘T-Mac’
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.