While Miami offers more than its share of adventures, Ernie Sims wasn‘t prepared for the drastic differences from his hometown of Tallahassee.
Sims, tabbed the nation's top prep recruit last season while at North Florida Christian, attended last year's Florida State-Miami game in the Orange Bowl on an unofficial visit. The Hurricanes, of course, upended the Seminoles 28-27 in an emotion-packed game that only help defines this storied rivalry.
"Being down there, it was a crazy, crazy environment," Sims said following Florida State's Wednesday practice.
"It's much different from up here. Being down in Miami, I wasn't accustomed to it, really. It's a totally different town down in Miami. I am used to Tallahassee. Tallahassee really isn't a big city. That's one of the main reasons I didn't go to Miami. I couldn't see myself living in Miami. I couldn't raise a family down there."
Sims, of course, selected the Seminoles over the Hurricanes, Florida Gators and just about every other major collegiate program in the nation. He has fit in nicely, too, making a name for himself on special teams as well as proving he's more than equipped for the Seminoles' rotation at linebacker.
Sims continues to get plenty of reps at second-team weak side linebacker behind A.J. Nicholson as Kendyll Pope continues his recovery from a knee injury. Sims has already watched enough film of the second-ranked Hurricanes to know the fifth-ranked Seminoles will have their hands full Oct. 11.
"What do I see? Speed. A lot of talent, just like us. We both almost have the same amount of talent," Sims said.
"Only thing is I think we have heart. I think we want it more because we are trying to get them back from last year. And me growing up in this town and seeing wide left, wide left and missed field goals, it's kind of discouraging. So I really have a grudge."
Sims also is well aware of how a victory can help the Seminoles' season.
"If we can fight through this game right here, we know we can win the national championship," Sims said.
"This is the biggest game of the year. It's going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait. I can't wait."
FSU coach Bobby Bowden said he doesn't have to tell his newcomers the significance of the showdown.
"No, you wouldn't have to," Bowden said.
"It's funny, nearly all games now become significant in college football because a loss is a loss. We don't have a playoff. You have to get it during the season. This game…it sounds funny. It's not more important than any other as far as win and loss is concerned, it's going to be tougher than most of them, mainly all of them."
NOT YOUR ORDINARY GAME
Bowden agreed with his recruiting coordinator, John Lilly, when it comes to the FSU-UM game in terms of recruiting. This is not your ordinary Saturday in October.
"I think that it's true when you play Miami and when you play Florida because you have so many in-state boys watching," Bowden said.
"I think, yeah, this would be one it sure would be nice if you really played great. The kids see that. The atmosphere will be outstanding this year for this game."
FOCUSING ON LITTLE THINGS
Quarterbacks coach Daryl Dickey is not too concerned with overloading Chris Rix, Fabian Walker and Wyatt Sexton with UM preparation at the moment.
"Nothing out of the normal right now. It's an off week," Dickey said.
"We are working on fundamentals, just trying to get better as a group. There's a lot of things we can get better on, a lot of timing, rhythm, mechanics, making sure we are hitting spots in the passing game. We are just trying to work and get better.
"It has been good for Fabian to get in and get some work. I am pleased to see Wyatt get in there and get a feel for the speed of the game, what's going on out there. So that's encouraging. They (Hurricanes) graduated a lot of folks last year but they haven't missed a step. They've reloaded. They are as good as they were last year defensively. It's a big-time challenge."