Today brought the big news that all-world, bazillion-star defensive lineman Delvon Simmons is asking out of his UNC-CH letter of intent. The circumstances of Simmons’ recruitment raised a lot of eyebrows on signing day – his late switch to UNC-CH was considered to be one of the biggest late surprises nationally. The role of former UNC-CH defensive line coach Brian Baker’s abrupt departure from UNC-CH (after less than a month on the job) in Delvon’s decision to ask out of UNC will certainly be the subject of speculation. It will be interesting to see if Delvon’s de-commitment (and the possible role Baker’s departure played in it) is covered by the local media with the same vigor as was his signing day surprise.
Alert readers will remember that Delvon opted for UNC-CH having never taken an official visit to Chapel Hill and having previously eliminated UNC-CH from his final list of schools. John Blake replacement Brian Baker was widely credited with landing Simmons, as WRAL noted at the time:
Many are crediting Baker with landing the upset signing-day commitment of Delvon Simmons, a five-star defensive tackle that had previously eliminated Carolina from his list of finalists.
It seems logical that Baker’s sudden post-signing-day departure from UNC-CH probably played a role in Simmons’ decision to leave UNC-CH.
The story of Brian Baker’s employment with UNC-CH is bizarre in itself. Baker, who was the Panthers’ defensive line coach last season, was announced as the new UNC-CH defensive line coach on January 10th. On February 8th, just after signing day, Baker officially took a job with the Dallas Cowboys. Adding to the oddness of these circumstances was the crazy February 9th announcement from UNC-CH that Baker never actually signed a contract with them. We covered this story in detail at the time, partially piggy-backing on an excellent Frumpzilla piece.
If someone can make sense of all this please let us know, because we sure can’t.
I will end with this murky quote from Delvon Simmons’ high school coach, made on the eve of signing day, regarding the very late addition of UNC-CH to the mix of schools in play for Delvon’s services:
“I can tell you that UNC has been added. We had a meeting behind closed doors, and that is all I can say. The rest stays there.”