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Simmons transferring to Florida A&M

Posted: Thursday May 08, 2003 6:21 PM
Updated: Thursday May 08, 2003 9:18 PM

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -- Former Clemson quarterback Willie Simmons is transferring to Florida A&M.

The move "is an opportunity to come to a school that has a tradition of taking in transfers from Division I-A and giving them a chance to play," Simmons told the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat.

"Hopefully I'll be in a position to be ready to start by the first game of the season. Hopefully I'll get acclimated to the system in time," said Simmons, who lost his starting job to freshman Charlie Whitehurst late in the 2002 season.

The move also puts Simmons closer to his hometown of Quincy, Fla.

Simmons did not immediately return phone calls from The Associated Press.

The senior announced last week he would transfer to a Division I-AA school, saying he wanted more playing time to pursue his goal of playing in the NFL.

Florida A&M coach Billy Joe has coached several quarterbacks that have gone on to play in the NFL including Patrick Bonner and JaJuan Seider.

"Coach Joe was probably the only I-AA coach that recruited me out of high school," Simmons told the newspaper. "He understood my desire to play at the I-A level, but he also let me know that the door would be open for me. I never forgot that."

Simmons went 204-for-391 for 2,530 yards in his Clemson career, throwing 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

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