Kansas football: Jayhawks reinforce O-line depth, adding Iowa State's Darrell Simmons

Iowa State offensive lineman Darrell Simmons, Jr., (55) blocks in the first quarter against West Virginia
Iowa State offensive lineman Darrell Simmons, Jr., (55) blocks in the first quarter against West Virginia / Bryon Houlgrave/The Register, Des Moines

Kansas football boasts an impressive slew of transfer portal additions this offseason. The Jayhawks most recently added a former Big 12 offensive lineman to bolster its depth in the trenches for the upcoming campaign.

Darrell Simmons, a former 3-star recruit out of high school, had a very successful career at Iowa State. The redshirt senior started 38 games with the Cyclones, once picking up Second Team Freshman All-American honors in 2020. He will be one of the players asked to fill the void Ar'maj Reed-Adams left when he transferred to Texas A&M.

The 6-foot-3, 320-pound guard redshirted his freshman year and will use his final year of eligibility in Lawrence. He committed shortly after his official visit to campus, which Devin Neal hosted, the star Jayhawks running back he could be blocking for next season.

It is a move that makes sense for all involved parties. Simmons started only one game because of his continued struggles with penalties. Coming to Kansas should give him a clean slate in a conference he is entirely familiar with.

The Illinois native is a solid athlete for his size and could be used in motion like Reed-Adams was sometimes. He fits the pro-style offense the Jayhawks utilized with ex-offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki, a scheme we will be seeing plenty of with the newly signed Jeff Grimes.

Simmons joins tight end DeShawn Hanika as the second former Cyclone to join the Kansas football program via the transfer portal. He is also the second portal addition on the offensive line, along with Division II Rimington Award winner Shane Bumgardner.

While he is not expected to immediately take over starting duties, he could give Kobe Baynes a run for his money at right guard. The KU's coaching staff picking up Simmons should be lauded and there is a good chance he finds himself in the rotation very often in 2024.