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They Use the Old 0-7-0 Defense

October 02, 2002|Rob Fernas

It's tough to organize a game of touch football in Melvin Simmons' family. Everyone wants to play linebacker.

Simmons, a junior at USC and starting weakside linebacker for the Trojans, is the oldest of seven boys, all of whom play linebacker.

"It wasn't like I planned it," said the boys' father, Melvin Sr., himself a former linebacker at Central High in Kansas City, Mo. "They're tremendous hitters and they love to hit. It's just a natural position for them. I never told a coach where to play them."

Melvin, 21, who got the nickname "Champ" from his mother, Kathleen, has paved the way for his siblings by having a successful college career that started with a two-year stint at Washington State before he transferred to USC last year. He is the second-oldest of 11 children.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday October 03, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 4 inches; 146 words Type of Material: Correction
Football--Marlin Simmons, a junior at Long Beach Poly High, is 15 years old. His age was incorrect in a Sports story Wednesday.

Following in his footsteps on the football field are:

* Marvin, who is playing for Compton College with the hope of transferring to USC after he earns the required credits. The former prep All-American at Long Beach Poly High signed with USC after the 2000 season but did not enroll after his test scores were challenged.

* Marlin, 19, a junior who starts for Poly, ranked second in the nation by USA Today.

* Twins Marcello and Marcel, sophomores who play for Poly's junior varsity team.

* Maurice, 12, and Marcus, 11, who play Pop Warner football in Compton.

Melvin is hopeful he can play with Marvin next season at USC.

"It's definitely a dream," he said.

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