As DJ Moore nears his receiving record, Geroy Simon reflects on bittersweet Terps career

His name has long since faded from the memory of most Maryland football fans, a productive player during a four-year stretch of mostly unproductive teams.

Geroy Simon’s career became a lot more exciting after he left College Park. A 15-year journey through the Canadian Football League included three Grey Cup titles, the league’s 2006 Most Outstanding Player Award and several team and CFL receiving records.


Still, he had highlights in College Park. As a 19-year-old sophomore in 1994, Simon caught a school-record 77 passes (then the most ever in the Atlantic Coast Conference) for 891 yards and five touchdowns, mostly from future CFL quarterback Scott Milanovich. With junior receiver DJ Moore approaching Simon’s single-season record for catches on a team with similar struggles, it’s a year of renewed relevance.

“It was a productive year for me personally, but we didn’t win a lot of games, which was pretty frustrating,” Simon said of those 4-7 Terps. “It’s really tough, because you want to have individual success, but you also want to have team success. When one of those isn’t happening, it makes it hard.”


Simon said he was used in a hybrid wide receiver-fullback-tight end position, playing mostly in the slot in coach Mark Duffner’s run-and-shoot offense. “I caught a lot of balls, a lot of screen passes, a lot of underneath stuff, just because of the way we ran our offense,” Simon said.

The Terps had only one winning season in Simon’s Maryland career — they went 6-5 in 1995 — and Duffner was fired after his senior year.

“The whole time there, I was fairly successful as an individual, but the team success wasn’t there, for whatever reason,” Simon said. “I felt we had very good players. We just didn’t have the total team that we needed to win consistently.”

He remains second on Maryland’s all-time list for career receptions (185), eight behind Jermaine Lewis, who was a year ahead of Simon in College Park. After spending part of the 1997 NFL season on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad, he headed to Canada.

The CFL game suited Simon very well. After spending his first two years with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Simon played the next 11 with the B.C. Lions, finishing with over 1,000 receiving yards in nine of those seasons.

Simon earned the league’s top individual honor in 2006 after catching 105 passes for 1,856 yards and 15 touchdowns, all career highs. The Lions won their first of two Grey Cup titles with Simon that year, adding a second in 2011. Simon won his third in 2013 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, his last year.

“Fifteen years up here, broke records, and three championships, which I’m most proud of,” said Simon, who set a Lions record for touchdown catches (93) and a CFL record for receiving yards (16,352). He was also a six-time All-Star in the league.

Simon, who as the Lions’ director of Canadian scouting and player personnel assistant does most of his scouting of U.S. college teams on the West Coast, still tries to follow the Terps.


“I keep up on Maryland’s record, I keep up with a few things that go on with the program. Obviously, being an alum and working in football, I hope one day to have an opportunity to work at the University of Maryland in the football program,” Simon said. “I don’t know Maryland like I would know a [University of] Washington or someone I would deal with on a weekly basis.”

What he’s seen of Moore entering the 4-7 Terps’ game Saturday against No. 10 Penn State (9-2) has made a positive impression.

”I’ve watched a little bit of film on him,” Simon said. “He’s got very good speed, but he’s a bit of a cruiser. It’s like deceptive speed. He almost runs like a running back.”

Simon first learned that his school record for receptions was being threatened when a reporter called him Friday. Moore has a Big Ten Conference-best 72 catches this season, five short of Simon’s mark.

“I knew he was very productive, but I wasn’t sure how he close he was. I wasn’t following the stats that closely,” Simon said. “I didn’t know he was that close to it until you mentioned it.”

But Simon did know that the Terps have had to play several quarterbacks this season because of various injuries, starting four in their first 11 games.


“That’s kind of tough going, when you have that many guys trying to throw the ball and getting it to you,” he said. “That makes it even more impressive that he’s continued his production, regardless of who’s playing quarterback.”