Career: Played four seasons (2007-10) for the Wildcats, mostly in a reserve running back or special teams (kickoff return) role ... Appeared in 40 career games, with eight career starts at running back ... Closed career ranked sixth (23.8ypr) on NU's kickoff return average list ... Returned a school-record 84 kickoff returns (previous record was 72) ... At career's end, ranked 18th all-time on NU's all-purpose yardage list with 2,624 yards.
2010: Appeared in all 13 games with one start ... Averaged 22.1 yards per kick return as a senior ... Ran for 31 yards on nine carries in TicketCity Bowl vs. Texas Tech while adding one catch for eight yards ... Rushed 12 times for a team-high 55 yards and returned one kickoff for 41 yards at Wisconsin ... 86 kickoff return yards on four attempts and one rush for six yards against Illinois ... Totaled 34 kickoff return yards on two attempts at Penn State ... Returned four kickoffs for a season-best 94 yards vs. Purdue ... Two kickoff returns for 47 yards at Minnesota ... Brought back three kickoffs for 71 yards vs. Central Michigan ... Rushed for 28 yards on nine carries and returned two kickoffs for 43 yards at Rice ... Five carries for 16 yards and two kickoff returns for 39 yards vs. Illinois State ... Returned three kickoffs for 53 yards and recorded three carries for 14 yards at Vanderbilt.
2009: Played in nine games with three starts ... Averaged a team-best 103.0 all-purpose yards per game ... Averaged a team-best 25.3 yards per kickoff return -- the 10th-best single-season kick return average in NU history ... Named team's special teams player of the week vs. Towson and co-special team's player of the week vs. Iowa and Wisconsin ... Sat out the Syracuse, Minnesota, Purdue and Indiana games due to injury ... Totaled 116 kickoff return yards, including a 36-yarder, vs. Auburn ... Also had 7 rushing yards against the Tigers ... Versus Wisconsin, returned four kickoffs for a season-best 155 yards, including a long return of 64 yards ... Returned one kickoff for 29 yards at Illinois ... Brought back three kickoffs for 46 yards and rushed six times for 11 yards at Iowa ... Returned five kickoffs for 121 yards vs. Penn State, including a long return of 44 yards ... Also ran three times for eight yards against the Nittany Lions ... Five rushes for 25 yards and three catches for 11 yards at Michigan State ... Returned from injury for the Miami game and carried the ball twice for three yards ... Scored a career-best two rushing TDs and racked up 196 all-purpose yards against Eastern Michigan (108 kickoff return yards on five attempts, 73 rushing yards on 13 carries and one catch for 15 yards) ... Against Towson, posted a career-high 77 rushing yards on 18 carries and returned three kickoffs for 82 yards, including a long of 49 yards.
2008: Played in 10 games, including the 2008 Alamo Bowl vs. Missouri where he returned five kickoffs for 108 yards ... In his third career start (regular season finale vs. Illinois), tied a career high in carries (22) and set a personal best with 69 rushing yards while scoring one TD ... Also returned three kickoffs for 54 yards against the Illini ... Against Michigan, notched his first career rushing TD, a 21-yard burst in the first quarter while finishing with 56 yards on 22 carries ... Also returned one kick for 16 yards ... Started at running back for the first time in his career in place of the injured Tyrell Sutton and Omar Conteh against Ohio State ... Gained 34 yards on 14 carries and returned three kickoffs for 57 yards against the Buckeyes ... Brought back three kickoffs for 68 yards vs. Minnesota ... Returned one kickoff for 35 yards at Indiana ... Against Purdue, returned three kickoffs for a season-best 76 yards ... Sat out the Ohio and Iowa games with an injury ... At Duke, returned two kickoffs for 32 yards ... Against Syracuse, returned two kickoffs for 63 yards, including a 40-yard return to open the second half ... Gained 17 yards on the first three rushing attempts of his career ... Also made three tackles on special teams coverage ... Named team's special teams player of the game vs. Syracuse ... Finished season tied for fifth on NU's career list for kickoff return average (22.1 ypr).
2007: Team's NGN Newcomer of the Year Award (Special Teams) winner ... Career highlight came in Big Ten opener vs. Ohio State, when he returned a kickoff 99 yards for a TD -- the second-longest return in NU history ... Averaged a team-best 26.8 yards per return (12 returns) ... Played in final nine games after missing the first three.
2006: Did not see action ... Named team's offensive practice player of the week vs. Iowa.
High School: SuperPrep All-Midlands Region running back ... Ranked the 24th-best player in the Midlands Region (11 states) ... Two-time all-state selection ... A three-time St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro and All-Metro Catholic Conference honoree ... 2004 MCC Player of the Year ... Led the MCC in rushing in both 2004 and 2005 ... Totaled a single-season school record 1,583 rushing yards (6.3 ypg), along with 41 receiving yards, and 17 touchdowns in 2005 ... Piled up 1,270 yards (6.0 ypc), 86 receiving yards and 14 TD's in 2004 ... Also eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in 2003, totaling 1,155 yards (5.3 ypc), 72 receiving yards and 4 TD's ... Rushed for 4,007 career yards, tops in SLUH history ... Helped the Jr. Billikens post respective 6-4, 7-3 and 8-2 marks his final three seasons ... FOX-2 and Post-Dispatch Player of the Week honors ... Rushed for a single-game school record 264 yards (32 carries) and two TD's in second career varsity game (vs. Parkway West) ... Ran for 202 yards (21 carries) and three TD's in final career game (vs. Vianney) ... U.S. Army All-American Combine participant ... Hails from the same prep school that produced NU quarterback Steve Schnur ... Also lettered four years in track, setting school marks in the 100-meters (10.3) and 300-meter hurdles (33.1) ... Honor Roll ... Coached by Gary Kornfeld.
Personal: Born Stephen J. Simmons ... Son of Sheila and Charles Simmons ... Father was a track letterwinner at Truman State (formerly Northeast Missouri State University) ... Communication studies major and business institutions minor.
The Simmons File
Q: Name five favorite songs (and artist) on your I-Pod:
A: Song Cry, Excuse Me Miss (Jay-Z) 2. St. Louis (Nelly) 3. Who knows (Musiq Soulchild) 4. Go DJ, Money on my Mind (Lil' Wayne) 5. Dollar Day (Mos Def) 6. Changes (2pac)
Q: If you could dine with anyone from any period in history, who would it be?
A: Malcom X
Q: What is the greatest lesson in life that you have learned?
A: Only people you really can trust is family
Q: Something people would be surprised to know about me is:
A: I sleep with my stuffed cookie monster or spongebob every night
Q: My favorite place to visit is:
A: My room
Q: Facebook or Twitter?
Q: Which current NU football player is the biggest jokester on the team?
A: Quentin Davie
Q:My favorite thing about NU is:
A: Kappa Alpha Psi
Q: Best part about being a Northwestern football player is:
A: Playing in the Big Ten
Q: Describe Coach Fitzgerald in five words or less:
A: Fierce, determined, ruthless
Q: Most humbling experience:
A: When I worked with autistic children in high school
Q: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
A: Breaking all the high school rushing records
Q: The person that inspires me the most is:
A: My grandfather: Charles Simmons Sr.
Q: When I played football as a kid, I pretended to be:
A: Bo Jackson and Barry Sanders
Q: If you could have a starring role in any film already made, which movie would you pick?
Q: My favorite food is:
Q: My favorite thing about playing at Ryan Field is:
Q: Best thing about Northwestern is:
A: Kappa Alpha Psi
Q: My ultimate SportsCenter highlight would be:
A: Winning touchdown
Q: My favorite television show is:
A: My Wife and Kids
Q: If I were not playing football, I would be:
A: Running track
Q: The three words that best describe me:
A: Underestimated, achieving, me
Q: My football-related superstition is: