Simpson: Truly a big man on campus
At 6-foot-7, Carson High senior Dalton Simpson has the distinction of being the tallest offensive lineman in Northern Nevada.
The soft-spoken 280-pound senior also would like to be known as one of the best by the end of the season, and if he continues to make the progress that he made since last season, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that he will catch the eyes of 4A coaches.
The progress has been physical and mental, according to Carson coach Blair Roman.
“He probably lost 30 pounds since last season,” Roman said as his No. 5 state-ranked (by MaxPreps) Senators got ready for tonight’s game against visiting Bishop Manogue. “He trimmed off a lot of baby fat.
“He’s worked hard in the weightroom and his flexibility has improved. He’s really come a long ways. He took all of this on himself. He wanted to play. He is a coachable kid, and he takes hard criticism OK. When coaches get after him, he bows his neck. It motivates him.”
Simpson did get some time in last year, but it was in blowout wins against Damonte Ranch. South Tahoe and Wooster. That experience and watching last year’s junior starting tackle Matt Cooper during practice and games helped Simpson get ready for this year, and he’s having a solid season.
“I make a couple of mistakes every game,” Simpson said. “I do my best during the week at practice (to clean things up). Overall I do pretty good blocking and following my rules.”
When you talk to Roman, line coach Pat Houlihan and any Carson offensive lineman the word rules comes up in every conversation. Rules is another word for assignments. Knowing who to block depending on the play called. There is a little more finesse and trickery in Carson’s offense compared to other teams, thus it can get complicated.
“Last year I was still learning the rules,” Simpson said. “This year I’ve gotten a lot better. I know the plays so much better.”
Cooper and Roman have both noticed a difference.
“He knows his rules better; knows what he is supposed to be doing,” Cooper said. “Last year he had to think about what he was doing. Now, he just gets after it.
“He’s had some big hits. His intensity has stepped up a notch.”
Roman said that last year Simpson had all of his rules on a wristband. He doesn’t use that crutch this season.
“He’s had a couple of series’ so far where he has just dominated; crushed the whole right side of the line,” Roman said. “It’s kind of scary because he is just scratching the surface. This is his second year of varsity football. He can run. When he pulls, it’s scary.”
Even though Simpson is just a neophyte when it comes to football, he is almost certain to play at the next level. He has the size that college coaches salivate over.
“I’ve talked to coach Roman about what I need to do,” Simpson said. “I’ll probably end up going to a JC.”
That isn’t a big deal. Sometimes it’s easier to get a scholarship coming out of a junior college programs, and there are plenty of good ones in California, including Butte (Roman’s alma mater) and American River in Sacramento.
“He’s going to get looks because of his size,” Roman said. “There may be a lot of four-year schools (later in the season) that show interest. He’s only played two years of high school football, so two years at a JC is a good option.”
Simpson may not have a choice out of high school. He got off to a slow start academically in Utah, and is slowly bringing his grades up.
Simpson did say that he received a letter from Northern Arizona, a Big Sky school. More letters can be expected if Carson continues to have success and Simpson keeps progressing.