Athlete of the Issue


Rayon Simmons, Jr.
Photo Courtesy of Winona State University Athletic Department

Interview by Alyssa Griffith/Winonan


Name: Rayon B. Simmons Jr.
Sport: Football
Position: RB
Year in school: RS Senior
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
High School: CBC High School
Parents’ names: Rayon Simmons Sr., Natasha Nichols

Major: Communication

Why did you choose to continue playing sports outside of high school? Honestly it was my way of going to college. Without an athletic scholarship I don’t know if I would even be in school. I was taught at an early age to use football as a way to continue my education.

Most challenging part of the game? Picking up blitzes, recognizing fronts, etc. Your favorite aspect of the game? Scoring TDs

Accomplishments as a college athlete? Preseason All American, All Conference (three years in a row), All Region, Preseason Offensive Player of the Year

What do you like to do outside of school and sports? Relax with my fraternity brothers and just be a normal person

What is something others might not know about you? I am very shy
Why did you choose Winona State University? The coaches treat you a person rather than a number. I came from a D1 institution originally and you are just a number there. I didn’t get that vibe here.

What are your plans post-graduation? Depends on how this football season goes.

If you could meet anyone (past/present) who would it be? Why? Walter Payton! I would want to meet him because I believe it would be a great opportunity to learn from one of the greatest.

Who is your role model? Why? My deceased uncle Joseph Parker is my role model. He was the closest thing I had to a father figure while my father was incarcerated in my early childhood.