Ron Simmons (born May 15, 1958) is an American semi-retired professional wrestler and retired American football player. He was the first of only two African Americans to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, along with Booker T. He was signed to World Wrestling Entertainment where he did public relations work, appeared in backstage segments on Raw, was known for his catchphrase, "DAMN!" and occasionally wrestling on the Raw brand. He also makes occasional appearances for independent promotion Rampage Pro Wrestling, which is based in his billed hometown of Warner Robins, Georgia.
Simmons was a two-time consensus All-American football playerat Florida State University, and played for the Cleveland Browns in the National Football League and the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League. He became a professional wrestler in 1986, and went on to wrestle in World Championship Wrestling under his real name and in the World Wrestling Federation under both his real name and the ring names Faarooq Asaad (sometimes spelled Asad) and Faarooq (sometimes spelled Farooq).
Born in Perry, Georgia, Simmons attended Warner Robins High School, where he played American football as a tight end and linebacker. In 1976, he was named lineman of the year, and first team All-State by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Simmons was an All-American football player at Florida State University from 1977-80 under coach Bobby Bowden (whom Simmons described as "a second father"), spending four years as a defensive nose guard. The Seminoles were 39-8 during Simmons' years at the school, finishing in the Associated Press Top 20 three times ('77,'79 and '80), earning back-to-back Orange Bowl trips after Simmons' junior and senior seasons. In 1979 Simmons finished ninth in the Heisman voting, behind winner Charles White. In 1988, Simmons' jersey (number 50) was retired by Florida State University, the third time a number has been retired in FSU history. In addition, Simmons was inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame for his accomplishments while playing at Florida State University. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.