By Kevin Flaherty
LAWRENCE, Kan. (247Sports.com) – Kansas lost some experience on the offensive line due to the graduation of Dominick Puni and Mike Novitsky, and Ar’maj Reed-Adams and Spencer Lovell hitting the transfer portal. But the Jayhawks added a bunch of it back on Sunday with the commitment of Iowa State offensive lineman Darrell Simmons.
Simmons started 38 games over his Cyclone career at right guard, but saw his role reduced this season, according to CycloneAlert’s Alec Busse. Simmons has yet to receive a transfer ranking from 247Sports.
The No. 72 offensive guard and No. 34 player in Illinois out of East Saint Louis High School. Simmons picked Iowa State over multiple MAC offers.
After redshirting his first season, Simmons started 11 games at right guard as a redshirt freshman, earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors as he helped pave the way for the second-best scoring offense in Iowa State offense, and for unanimous All-American running back Breece Hall, who led the nation in rushing.
The Cyclones continued to find offensive success the following season, with Simmons starting all 13 games. Iowa State was particularly successful in the red zone, scoring on 47-of-49 trips to rank second nationally.
Iowa State dropped off offensively in Simmons’ third year on the offensive line with the loss of Hall and Brock Purdy to the NFL, though Simmons still started 11 of the 12 games he played in at right guard.
This year, Busse reported that Simmons played in all 12 games, starting the first three contests, but logged a career-low 142 snaps as Iowa State turned to freshman guard Brendan Black.
Kansas returns four players with starting experience from this past season in Bryce Cabeldue, Michael Ford, Kobe Baynes and Calvin Clements, and the Jayhawks already struck in the transfer portal with Tiffin center Shane Bumgardner, who won the Rimington Award as Division II’s best center.