"He will have a chance to contribute this season," Coach Tommy Tuberville says of the 6-4, 288-pound freshman from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Sims, who is coming off of strong junior and senior seasons at Dillard High School, says he is eager to see what he can do at the Southeastern Conference level.
"My goal is that I want to play my first year and get in there and compete for playing time," he says. "If I don't get to play this year, I won't be mad. I will just have to wait my turn to play when I am ready or when they think I am ready. I am determined to try to get some playing time, but if I don't I will be all right."
Pat Sims is shown at his first college practice.
The chance to play early helped contribute to the big lineman's decision to accept a scholarship offer from the Tigers. "With Auburn losing three defensive tackles, I felt Auburn was the best place for me to come because I would have a chance to help right away," Sims says.
He becomes the third former Dillard High player on the 2004 team, joining senior strong safety Junior Rosegreen and sophomore defensive end Stanley McClover. Those two players are expected to be starters. "Junior and Stanley have been showing me around and telling me what to do and what to avoid," he says.
Sims almost didn't get a chance to play this season. He was stuck on his SAT, 10 points short of qualifying before pulling it out on his last attempt. "I think I took the test six or seven times, but I finally made it," he notes. "You have to keep digging if you want to be successful. It was frustrating to me until I made it."
The defensive lineman says the attitude to be persistent helps him as a football player. He found the demanding offseason workouts with his new teammates to be a challenge this summer. "There is a lot more running involved than in high school," he says. "It is tough, but you have to just keep pushing. It is like taking the SAT. I just had to hang in there and keep pushing."