Undrafted Simmons signs with Oakland

The way Shane Simmons figures it, getting the call late is better than not getting it at all.

The way Shane Simmons figures it, getting the call late is better than not getting it at all.

That proved to be the case Sunday afternoon for Simmons, a 2004 Kentlake High graduate and Western Washington star who anticipated being selected in the later rounds of the NFL draft.

Though Simmons’ name never was announced during the two-day draft, he did, in fact, receive the call that counted. Roughly an hour after the draft ended on Sunday, Simmons, a linebacker, signed a free-agent contract with the Oakland Raiders.

“I kind of figured I wouldn’t be drafted after the fifth and sixth rounds because there were a lot of linebackers who were already taken,” said Simmons, who also received offers from Detroit, Green Bay and San Francisco.

Despite not being selected, Simmons was upbeat Sunday evening, ready to embark on his NFL career.

“I am just excited to be part of an organization,” he said. “I’m not disappointed at all (after not getting drafted). “All I needed was an opportunity, and that’s what I got.”

No Kentlake football player has ever made it to the NFL.

In high school, Simmons, a 6-foot-1, 230-pounder, made a name for himself more as a quarterback than as a defensive stalwart. During his senior season at Kentlake, he combined for 1,694 yards rushing and passing and scored 19 touchdowns in leading the Falcons to the state playoffs. Kentlake hasn’t advanced to state since.

After high school, he played one year at the University of Idaho before transferring to Western Washington, where he enjoyed one of the most successful careers in school history.

Last fall, he led the North Central Conference in tackles per game (12.5). Simmons also ranked fourth nationally among NCAA Division II schools in total tackles and was ninth nationally in solo tackles per game (6.3).

Now, it’s on to Oakland for Simmons, who quickly admitted that he wasn’t a Raider fan growing up.

“Hell no, to be quite honest,” Simmons said with a laugh. “But I won’t have any problems wearing the silver and black now.”

Erick Walker can be reached at 425-432-1435 or ewalker@reporternewspapers.com