Four Pirates Named Preseason All-Conference USA
Senior Is One Of 75 Players Nominated For Best Interior Lineman Award
Defense Finishes Spring On Strong Note In Purple-Gold Scrimmage
ECU Head Coach Ruffin McNeill Welcomes Back 21 Returning Starters, 50 Lettermen
Twenty Players Recognized After ECU Earns Bowl Bid, Posts Second-Highest Win Total Since 1992
ECU vs. Ohio (USA Today Gallery)
Ranks as one of Conference USA's top offensive lineman ... Expected to elevate honors candidacy to a national level as the Pirates' three-year starter at right guard ... Has also assumed a primary leadership role up front ... Named to Phil Steele's College Football Preview Magazine's 2013 Preseason All-Conference USA squad (first-team) ... Coaches note level of physicality, work ethic and distinct tenacity as notable difference makers ... Has taken full advantage of ECU's strength and conditioning program by adding 62 pounds since signing with the program at an announced weight of 280 ... Has also added a combined total of 326 pounds to three traditional lifts in a two-year period - bench press (415 pounds/+55), back squat (620/+190) and power clean (345/+81) ... Owns one of the top flexibility grades among any offensive lineman at 12.0 and ranks among the leaders in the vertical (28.5") and broad (99.5") jumps ... A two-time All-Conference USA selection who has started 25 of 30 games at right guard ... Current streak of 25-straight starts entering the 2013 season tops all players on the offensive side of the ball ... Has helped provide pass protection for seven 300-yard passing games over the last two seasons.
2012: An All-Conference USA (second team) performer ... Started all 13 games at right guard ... A vital member, both from a tactical and leadership standpoint, of a line that helped produce five 100-yard rushing performances and four 300-yard passing contests ... Part of three games where ECU produced 550 or more yards of total offense (600/UAB, 550/UH, 555/MAR) ... Paved the way for a season-high 245 yards rushing against the Cougars ... Played pivotal role for an offensive unit that provided pass protection for Shane Carden's single-game passing record of 439 yards vs. Marshall ... Also provided running lanes for Vintavious Cooper's 1,049-yard season ... Earned midseason All-Conference USA First-Team honors from Phil Steele Magazine ... Selected as the offensive recipient of the Rock Roggeman Heart-of-the-Pirate Award and was named ECU's Offensive Lineman-of-the-Year during the program's annual awards banquet.
2011: Played in all 12 games and established a firm grasp on the Pirates' right guard slot ... Was the lone member of the offensive line to start at the same position every game of the year ... Also served in blocking roles on the field goal and PAT units for the second-consecutive season ... Made first career start in season opener at South Carolina after appearing mainly on special teams during freshman campaign ... Guided Pirates to a No. 20 national ranking in passing offense (286.1 yards per game) ... ECU finished second in Conference USA in passing offense and fifth in total offense (395.2 yards per game) ... Provided protection for ECU quarterbacks to throw for more than 300 yards in six of the last 10 games ... Aerial attack ended the season with the second-most passing yards in program history (3,433) ... Opened holes for 12 rushing touchdowns in the last seven games ... Provided space for ECU's season-best 186 rushing yards against UCF, the most since tallying 194 versus Marshall on Oct. 23, 2010 ... Pirates averaged 11.4 yards per completion against Southern Miss ... Provided pass protection for Dominique Davis to set NCAA records for consecutive completions in a game (26/Navy) and season (36/Memphis and Navy) ... Allowed time for Davis to set the East Carolina single-game completion percentage record of 88.9 against Navy, the second best in NCAA history for a passer converting at least 40 throws ... Pirates averaged 7.0 yards per play and 12.2 yards per completion at Memphis while gaining 524 total yards ... Provided pass protection for Davis to throw for a program single-game record 417 yards against North Carolina as the team averaged 10.2 yards per completion ... Against UAB, helped the Pirates to 361 yards passing, 181 on the ground and 7.3 yards per play ... In the season opener against South Carolina, provided pass protection for Davis to throw for 200 or more yards (260) for the 14th-straight game ... Earned ECU's "Offensive Lineman-of-the-Year" award.
2010: Experienced action in four games during initial season on the active roster ... Appeared against Memphis, Marshall, Rice and SMU ... Made collegiate debut along the offensive line in the fourth quarter against the Tigers and also entered as a reserve right guard vs. the Thundering Herd behind All-Conference USA performer D.J. Scott ... Served on the special teams units versus the Owls and Mustangs ... Blocked for Michael Barbour's record-breaking 56 PAT and 104-point season ... Part of an offensive line that provided pass protection for Pirate quarterbacks to set new standards in attempts (632), completions (408), completion percentage (64.6), yards (4,143), yards per game (318.7) and touchdowns (39) ... Opened holes for the offense to score a school-record 60 offensive touchdowns, surpassing the 2007 team's 50 offensive TDs ... Helped the offense to program bests with 478 overall points, 346 points in C-USA games and 36.8 points per contest.
2009: Redshirted during initial season in ECU program and spent time on the scout team ... Officially signed with the Pirates in February. High School: A four-year starter and letterman for coach Diego Hasty at Hertford County High School ... Served as team captain during junior and senior seasons and received Captain's Award in 2008 ... Earned all-conference and all-state honors as a junior and senior ... Selected as program and conference's offensive lineman-of-the-year in 2007 ... Chosen to represent North Carolina in the 2008 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas All-Star Game ... Picked up additional letters as a thrower (shot put, discus) on track team and was chosen as the most outstanding athlete as a sophomore ... Helped squad to conference championship during 2006-07 season ... Member of HCHS's Honor Roll for work in the classroom. Personal: Full name is William Michael Simmons, but is referred to as Will ... Born January 31, 1991 at Ahoskie, N.C. ... Son of Thomas and Lorrie Simmons ... A health fitness specialist major ... Reportedly lost a total of approximately 100 pounds from frame during his high school career ... Lists parents as people who have had the most influence on career.