The 6-3, 295-pound defensive lineman from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has joined the majority of other members of the 2004 Auburn football signee class as an early arrival on campus.
"I did my first workout on Thursday and it is going to take me a while to get used to the pace of college workouts," Sims says. "It is a lot more intense than what we did in high school."
Sims lifted weights, did conditioning runs and later spent time with the other defensive linemen as they did a voluntary workout as a group in an effort to get a head start on the 2004 season. Former high school teammate Stanley McClover was among the defensive players showing Sims what to do in his initial day on the practice field with his new teammates.
Pat Sims will join two former Dillard High stars on the 2004 Auburn team.
"Everything was fine with the first day, but I know I have a lot of work to do to get ready," says Sims, who notes that he also plans to go through the Camp War Eagle freshman orientation program to get ready for fall semester classes. "One thing I am thinking about doing is trying to lose a little weight so I will be quicker. I am thinking about trying to lose down to around 280 pounds."
At Dillard High School, Sims earned a reputation as a player with the quickness to chase down opposing quarterbacks while also being strong enough to shut down the running game. That natural ability, along with excellent size, could give him a chance to play as a true freshman.
When he signed with the Tigers in February, there was a question on whether or not the defensive lineman would be an academic qualifier. However, he has taken care of business in that area by being persistent. "I think I took the SAT six times," he says. "I kept improving my score until I became eligible. I did a lot of preparation for the tests and that helped."
Although many of the early football signee arrivals are taking classes in one of the mini-semester summer sessions, Sims says he plans to wait until the fall semester begins in August to take his first college classes. By then he hopes to be in serious contention for playing time this season. He is one of the players the AU coaching staff is looking to for possible immediate help with another defensive lineman making the move to offense, something that Sims says he realizes is a good opportunity.
"My goal is to play this season," Sims tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "With Tim Duckworth going to offense, the coaches are looking for help on the defensive line.
This summer, Sims is living with McClover and has another familiar face close by to keep an eye on the newcomer in senior Junior Rosegreen, a Dillard alumnus who is the returning starter at strong safety. The Tigers have had a series of players from Dillard contribute on the field since the early 1990s with performers like Otis Mounds, James Bostic, Calvin Jackson, Charles Dorsey, Brian Robinson, Frank Sanders and others becoming key players.