NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Former Tennessee State offensive lineman Lachavious Simmons has come a long way from working on his family's farm near Selma, Alabama. The 6'5" 310-pounder was drafted in the seventh round by the Chicago Bears in last week's NFL Draft.
Simmons joined Greg Pogue and me on WNSR Sports Radio Thursday morning where he told us both he and his family were delighted to hear his named called at the draft.
"It was a moment of joy," he said. "I've been working hard my whole life to get to this point. But, it's just the beginning, I gotta work hard when I get (to Chicago)."
Simmons knows all about the rich tradition of NFL players who came from TSU. Guys like Ed "Too Tall" Jones and Pro Football Hall Of Famer and Superbowl MVP Richard Dent. Simmons says he plans to uphold the "Big Blue" tradition when he gets to the pros.
"I really looked up to those guys," he said. "(I met) Richard Dent last year at spring practice, and he was talking to me and helping me work on some stuff. I was like 'Wow, I'm on the same team that he was on.'"
I asked Simmons about his opportunity with the Bears and how he'll be lining up against their All-Pro pass rusher Kahlil Mack every day at practice. Lachavious says he's looking forward to the opportunity to match his skills with the former NFL Defensive Player Of The Year.
"Iron sharpens iron," Simmons said. "He's one of the greatest edge rushers in the game, and I think he can help me better my game."
As a seventh-round pick, Simmons is considered a developmental player and most experts don't expect to contribute right away, but Simmons believes he can make an immediate impact.
"I'm most definitely playing with a chip on my shoulder," he said. "I plan on going (to Chicago) and making a huge impact and helping this team win a Superbowl."
Simmons says he has no issues leaving the south for the nation's third largest media market in Chicago.
"I think Nashville pretty much prepared me for (living in) a big city," he said. "The five years I was in Nashville helped me get used to the city (life) and all the traffic and all that stuff, so, I think it'll be a pretty smooth transition."