Michigan defensive lineman Peter Simmons representing SWFL in National Championship Game

Author: Zach Oliveri
Published: Updated:

Running out of the tunnel and onto the field at the Rose Bowl was surreal in itself for Michigan junior defensive lineman Peter Simmons III.

“The Rose Bowl is a lot like The Big House,” Simmons explained. “The way the stadium is shaped and everything. So it almost felt like I was home.”

That makes sense for the lifelong Wolverine from Bonita Springs, who played football at Bishop Verot High School. In fact, Michigan Stadium is essentially a family home.

“I’m the fourth generation in my family to go to Michigan,” Simmons said. “My great grandfather helped build The Big House in the 1920s.”

Now Peter is a part of Michigan football history. The Wolverines won “The Granddaddy of Them All” to secure a spot in the national title game.

“I always said I wanted to play in the national championship on the University of Michigan football team,” Simmons said. “You know when you’re a kid everybody’s like oh yeah sure you know whatever. But now it’s actually reality.”

From “The Game” to Big Ten Championships, Simmons has been a part of big moments with the Wolverines. But nothing like the instant classic against Alabama, which also had a SWFL tie on their roster in freshman running back Richard Young from Lehigh.

That was Simmons’ first overtime game and it came down to the last play.

“We were all like kind of standing on the sideline holding each other back you know,” Simmons recalled. “And my guys Kenneth Grant and Mason Graham you know big boys in the middle made a stop. And we all just ran right on the field you know going to the national championship.”

After the game, Simmons went to celebrate with his family.

“There was like a big wall I had to jump up, but you know once I got up there and I saw my mom, dad, sister, girlfriend, grandpa everybody there they’re all just have me a big hug,” Simmons said.

“There was tears of joy in the Simmons family for our son Peter, who since the second grade has been playing football and waiting for that moment,” Peter’s dad, Peter Simmons II, said

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