Washington State is busy trying to wrap up its 2015 signing class, but the Cougars may soon have an extra hole to fill. Cougar outside receiver coach Dennis Simmons is a candidate for the same job at Oklahoma, according to The Football Brainiacs.
The Football Brainiacs reported last week that Simmons had interviewed for the job, but updated the report on Monday with a "source connected to the Wazzu program" confirming Simmons is a candidate. A source said "the move looks like it could happen" but Simmons' departure has yet to be confirmed. The Football Brainiacs report also indicates WSU has already identified a new wide receivers coach if Simmons does leave.
If anything is going to happen, it likely won't happen until after signing day. Coaches routinely stay with a school through LOIs coming in before taking another job. Simmons' possible departure could be part of why verbal commitments Deontay Burnett and Dahu Green are looking around or it could all be coincidental.
Simmons does have a connection to WSU as he previously coached with new OU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. The two coached under Mike Leach at Texas Tech and were on the same staff at East Carolina. Simmons has a longer history with Leach, but nine years of history with Riley.
Losing Simmons would be a major blow for WSU. Leach has done a fine job of filling assistant coach spots as they've come open -- with WSU improving in many of the instances. Doing so if Simmons does depart will be a big challenge. He's a tremendous recruiter in Southern California, an area WSU hits hard, and a damn fine wide receivers coach. A look at the work he's done with WSU's outside receivers shows just how good Simmons is. He helped mold Vince Mayle into a legitimate top NFL prospect while Isiah Myers developed tremendously under Simmons' tutelage. Others have also improved significantly with WSU going from a "catch and fall" team as Simmons once called them to one of the most -- if not the most -- productive receiving corps in the country.
When your receivers produce at the level Simmons' have recently, it's no surprise other schools are going to come calling. If a move is going to happen, it isn't likely to take long after signing day.