Seven Lakes High School, Spartans, Texas high school football, Jaylinn Simon, Jaymian Simon

Spartans’ Simon twins sign on to Navy

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 12/18/19

It was always going to be a package deal. Still, it was a shock it actually happened.

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Seven Lakes High School, Spartans, Texas high school football, Jaylinn Simon, Jaymian Simon

Spartans’ Simon twins sign on to Navy

Posted

It was always going to be a package deal. Still, it was a shock it actually happened.

Last summer, Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo offered Seven Lakes senior defensive lineman Jaymian Simon a full athletic scholarship.

“When I got offered first, I was psyched. I couldn’t believe it,” Jaymian said. “But then my mind went right to that we were missing that one piece.”

That “piece” was Jaymian’s twin brother, Jaylinn, also a Seven Lakes defensive lineman. At the time, Jaylinn had yet to be offered. But at a Navy prospect camp in late June, it all came together.

“Coach Niumatalolo looked at Jaylin afterwards at a camp and said, ‘Why would I break up this team, this dynamic? They’re so strong. Any school would be a fool to not put them together?’” recalled Shawnie Simon, the twins’ mother. “And then he turned around and looked at Jaylinn and said, ‘I want to offer you a full ride as well.’ I was, wow. We were completely shocked. They committed right when they were offered.”

And a goal that had been dreamt of since they were kids was reached Wednesday, Dec. 18, when the Simon twins signed their national letters of intent to play at Navy on Early Signing Day.

“It was the plan,” Jaymian said. “We’ve been playing football together since day one, and we wanted to continue that. We went down on the prospect visit, we looked at each other once Jaylinn got offered, and we committed.”

Jaylinn said he was “speechless” with how everything worked out.

“The coach had a talk with me, and I stressed how I’d played football all my life and how my brother and I wanted to play in college together,” Jaylinn said. “We’ve never been separated. He told me he’d looked over my film and he was going to offer us both. It was like a dream moment.”

The twins are separated at birth by two minutes. Jaylinn is older, the more laid-back one. Jaymian is the more outspoken of the two.

At 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, Jaylinn played defensive end and outside linebacker for the Spartans this season, amassing 35 total tackles and two fumble recoveries. Jaymian (6-2, 285) totaled 36 total tackles and two forced fumbles as a tackle.

“It was a spiritual, divine intervention that day,” said Shawnie, who said her husband Johnny, generally a stoic individual, gets emotional when he thinks about it. “It’s surreal. I can’t believe it. Last night, I looked at a picture of them in their Navy uniforms and I just never … my gosh, they’re going to the Navy to play football. My husband and I are overwhelmed with joy.”

The Simons moved to Katy from Louisiana in 2014 when Johnny got transferred at work. It was a difference-maker.

“From there to here, it’s been a total upgrade, just because there’s so many opportunities out here,” Jaylinn said. “We can grow out here. In Louisiana, once you got to a point, there was a ceiling. Here? You can keep striving.”

The Simons embrace twinhood. Not only did they have ambitions of playing college football together, but they also dream of one day starting their own football equipment company. They also want to be the next set of twins to play in the NFL, joining the Seahawks’ Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin.

“It’s neat,” Jaymian said. “As soon as you’re born, you have a best friend right next to you. He’s always there and you always have someone to talk to. From day one, that’s my best friend.”

Navy is the next chapter in their young football careers.

“Navy is not just a four-year thing,” Jaymian said. “You go to the Naval Academy, you’re going to be set the next 40 years. I love the culture. I love the place; it’s on water. I love it. I feel like it’s going to set me up for success.”

Jaylinn said the bond amongst players were second to none.

“When I got there, the players were there too and they made me feel at home,” he said. “You could see the brotherhood. You could see how close they were. I felt like if I went there, I could develop into the player I want to be. Even when I went up for a visit before, I had Navy guys who’d graduated years ago texting me and saying they were there for me. That only helped me make my decision. I knew it was the place we wanted to go.”

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