Freshman running back T.J. Simmons told The Temple News he is transferring to a school in Florida for “personal reasons.”
Simmons, who was redshirting this season, appeared in one of the Owls’ 10 games this season- a 34-26 victory against Cincinnati Sept. 12.
“T.J. left the team,” coach Matt Rhule said during his press conference on Tuesday. “That’s all I’ll say about it because I’m trying to focus on the seniors. But T.J. is not with us anymore.”
The Lakeland, Florida native was the highest-rated recruit to sign with Temple in program history. Simmons was a four-star recruit and the No. 17 best running back in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals.com.
“[He’s] a tremendous athlete,” Rhule told The Temple News in February. “He’s heralded, he’s fast, he’s explosive. He has the chance to be a big [running] back [for us].”
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound running back originally committed to the University of California, Los Angeles as a sophomore in high school without taking an official visit.
He decommitted from UCLA as other schools got involved in his recruitment, and then committed to Temple in February. He missed most of his senior year of high school due to a leg injury.
“It was pretty tough sitting out my senior year,” Simmons told The Temple News in February. “My team still finished the year pretty well, and I had a chance to play a little bit toward the end.”
Simmons had 22 offers coming out of high school, including the University of Florida, the University of Miami, South Florida and Central Florida, according to Rivals.com.
Michael Guise can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Michael_Guise