Two Stamford High football players will be continuing their careers next year.
Alain Paul has committed to be a preferred walk-on at Long Island University while Danny Simms has transferred out of Stamford and is attending St. Thomas More in Oakdale.
Simms will get to play three spring games with St. Thomas More before embarking on a post-graduate season in the fall.
Both players benefited from playing in the independent football league created this past fall after the CIAC canceled the football season.
“With us not playing this year it was hard for these seniors to get looks from colleges,” Stamford coach Jamar Greene said. “The independent season, even if it was just four games, let these kids at least get some tape out to coaches. For Danny, I am cool with him leaving Stamford to get to play spring football and then have a PG year. With us not having a season to get him attention, going to St. Thomas More will be a big help for him. He is a D-1 talent, he just needs to be seen. The sky is the limit for him there.”
Simms, who began his high school career at Trinity Catholic before transferring, played wide receiver, linebacker and safety at Stamford, but will focus on strong safety at St. Thomas More.
“Danny is a big-time athlete and he had a hard time with an injury as a junior. Then no football this year, he couldn’t showcase his talents and got overlooked. Danny fits in our program really well,” St. Thomas More coach Ernest Anderson said. “We have a lot of kids here with chips on their shoulders and Danny fits in with that. We feel he is talented enough to play at a D-1 school. We will bring out the best in Danny.”
Over the past five seasons, St. Thomas More has produced 30 players who are now at Power-Five schools.
Anderson feels Simms will benefit greatly from a year-round program and playing alongside top recruits from all over the country.
“He has so much untapped potential,” Anderson said. “Danny has never been in a real system. It will be so valuable for him to be in our strength and conditioning program all summer. Him coming in here mid-year is great because he will get a taste of the games in the spring, get a full offseason of work and be ready for his PG year next fall. He will get comfortable at not being the best kid on the field. He has to find his niche, that’s how guys earn scholarships.”
For Paul, the chance to play again is all he wanted
“It was just a couple of games but that season was so important for me and all the seniors who depend on football. I’m very blessed that I got to play a few games,” Paul said. “I’m thankful for my time at Stamford. I learned about being disciplined. Coach Greene made me a better player, better man and better captain. I used what he said over the years, not just on the football field, but in the classroom and just in life.”
Paul also played lacrosse at Stamford.
Paul is going as a preferred walk-on and will be receiving an academic scholarship.
Preferred walk-ons are guaranteed a spot on the roster. Their preferred status means the coach wants the recruit, but the does not have a scholarship for him.
Preferred walk-ons can earn a scholarship going into their second season or keep playing without one.
Paul played running back, wide receiver and defensive back for the Black Knights.
“Alain can do a little bit of everything,” Greene said. “He’s quick, has good hands and is just a heads-up football player. He can play anywhere. We used him out of the backfield and as a receiver. He could catch the ball really well out of the backfield, like an Alvin Kamara-type player. Wherever we put him, he never complained, he just went and made plays. He’s a playmaker.”