Manheim Central vs Upper Dublin-PIAA 5A semifinal

Manheim Central quarterback Evan Simon (6) rolls out of the pocket against Upper Dublin during first half action of a PIAA 5A semifinal at Wissahickon High School in Ambler Friday Nov. 30, 2018.

Simon says, Rutgers it is.

Manheim Central’s junior quarterback is heading to the B1G.

Evan Simon, the Barons’ record-setting signal-caller, announced on Monday that he’s accepted a scholarship offer from Rutgers, and he’ll join the Scarlet Knights in New Brunswick, NJ, in 2020 after he completes his senior year in Manheim.

“This was my biggest decision to date,” Simon told LNP. “At the end of the day, it just felt like home.”

Simon has made four unofficial visits to Rutgers, and he’ll make an official visit to the campus later in the year. He has received 12 scholarship offers in all, and Simon said his final four when it came to the decision-making process included Pitt, West Virginia, Colorado and Rutgers, which will inherit his dual-threat capabilities.

“When it comes to recruiting, quarterbacks go quick, so he preferred to make his pick this past weekend,” Central coach Dave Hahn said. “Evan likes the opportunity he’s going to have to play there.”

Simon has spent the last two seasons as Central’s starting quarterback, and he’s helped the Barons make a pair of deep postseason trips. In 2017, Central won the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two title and the District Three Class 5A championship before bowing out in the first round of the PIAA playoffs.

This past fall, Simon helped steer the Barons to back-to-back section and district crowns, and all the way to the PIAA-5A state championship game, where Central fell to Penn Hills 36-31.

With Simon starting under center, Central is 27-2.

“By far, that’s the best number to me,” Simon said. “I’ll take that over passing yards and touchdowns. To me, winning is the most important thing.”

Rutgers has been in retooling mode in the B1G, but Simon hopes to be a game-changer when he steps foot in the locker room.

“I feel like I can change a program, I really do,” he said. “I’m just going to go out and be me. And I love to compete — more anything else.”

“He’s obviously done a great job, and he’s handled himself so well,” Hahn said. “We’ve had guys like Matt Nagy (Delaware), Jeff Smoker (Michigan State) and Justin Gorman (Colorado), and now Evan. He fits the D1 mold: He’s 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds. He runs well. He’s got a strong arm. And he can make all the throws.”

Simon’s statistics are jaw-droppingly good.

Last fall, during Central’s 14-1 campaign, he clicked on 131 of 247 passes for 2,753 yards with 30 touchdown tosses against just 10 interceptions. Simon also rushed for 661 yards with 12 TD keepers.

He earned multiple all-star nods, including: L-L Section Two all-star, USA Today All-Pennsylvania all-star, Pennsylvania Football Writers all-state, Pennsylvania Football News all-state, Pennsylvania Coach’s Select all-state, and Eastern Pennsylvania Football all-state honors.

In his career, Simon has passed for 5,350 yards — he’s closing in fast on Smoker’s program record of 5,900 yards — and his 59 TD strikes are most in Central history.

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