Jeffery Simmons — a highly recruited 6-foot-4, 275-pound football player from Mississippi — was charged Monday after cellphone video showed him repeatedly punching a woman while she was on the ground during a street fight.
Simmons was charged with disturbing the peace by fighting and simple assault, both misdemeanors, Chief Lucious Mason of the Macon, Mississippi, Police told The Huffington Post.
Simmons reportedly posted an apology to Facebook in which he took “full responsibility” for his actions but mentioned insults directed toward his deceased nephews, saying “I am supposed to defend my family”:
— Alex McDaniel (@AlexMcDaniel) March 26, 2016
The Facebook page in question was deleted, the Post said.
Simmons wasn’t arrested but will be served with a citation to appear in court along with four others charged in the incident, Mason told the Post.
Mason called the video “disturbing,” the Post said. WCBI-TV said the fight took place Thursday.
Simmons, a defensive end for Noxubee County High School, last month signed with Mississippi State rather than rivals Ole Miss or Alabama.
Here’s a photo of him on signing day:
Jeffery Simmons, y'all. Best dressed man this side of the Mississippi. pic.twitter.com/cqfeBmP4vf
— Robby Donoho (@RobbyDonoho) February 3, 2016
“We are aware of the situation,” Mississippi State spokesman Bill Martin told the Post on Monday prior to the announcement of charges. “As more details become available, we will continue to evaluate the situation.” Martin added that Simmons is in high school and hasn’t yet enrolled at Mississippi State.
After receiving his letter of intent, head football coach Dan Mullen had this to say about Simmons:
Great football player. Top player in the state of Mississippi. We are thrilled to have him. All of the discussions that we’ve had during recruiting about him, he’s been No. 1 on our list just because of the talent that he has out there on the field. I’ve known him for three years now and if you look at what he does in the classroom, you look at what he does in his community, if you look at the effort that he gives in everything that he does, he is a first class young man. I see him potentially being the next Fletcher Cox or Kaleb Eulls and when you start getting mentioned with those guys, you are really up there. He has that work ethic, really just that attitude that he’s a very special player.