Big Plans

Hard to believe <b>Ernie Sims</b> already has a season under his belt. Sims arrived at Florida State as the nation's top prep recruit from nearby North Florida Christian. Of course, Big Ernie did not disappoint, exciting fans and teammates alike with his big-play ability. Well, Sims is looking for improvements this year as the Seminoles begin their summer conditioning drills.

Florida State sophomore linebacker Ernie Sims is not the kind of player to look over his shoulder. No sir.

Last season is a memory.

Sims is more interested in making sure he's making the most of his time this very moment.

He wants this season to be magical.

Recovered from spring wrist surgery, Sims, Florida State's talented sophomore linebacker from nearby North Florida Christian, is anxious to make a bigger impact this upcoming year.

Sims is healthy and in good spirits as the Seminoles opened their summer conditioning drills this week.

"I had some soreness in my hand and wrist," Sims said Wednesday.

"I played the whole spring with a cast on and the day after I had surgery. But that's minor now. I'm focused on getting bigger and stronger."

Fans are also anxious to see how FSU's young linebackers respond after playing behind a trio of senior starters in 2003 -- Michael Boulware, Kendyll Pope and Allen Augustin.

Sims, A.J. Nicholson, Buster Davis and Sam McGrew represent a new era. No disrespect intended towards last year's group, but Sims also believes it's going to be an improved era.

Of course, Sims has moved from weakside linebacker to the strongside to take advantage of his skills.

"I would say that we are a lot more physical. but at the same time we have a lot more speed," Sims said.

"Of course you have Michael Boulware at a 4.5-4.6 but as a unit I think were faster, more physical and stronger. Not taking anything away from last year but were gonna do some great things this year."

The athletic Sims, who is known for quick start and closing speed on the field -- not to forget his bone-jarring tackles -- also wants to want to add to his quickness as well to his muscular frame.

"I heard (Lorenzo) Booker ran a 4.3 flat," Sims said.

"I am not far behind him. We do alot of sprinting together. My guess, if I come out there with some good feet I might be able to match that.

"I'm about 226," Sims said.

"They want me to gain a little more weight. I want me to gain a little more weight, get around 230 by August."

Of course, Sims is also noted for his bright smile and engaging personality. He also keeps up with the Seminoles' recruiting efforts, and is well aware of the comparisons between a certain Madison County defensive standout -- Eugene Hayes -- and himself.

"Everyone keeps saying he's gonna be as good as me, big as me, fast as me. But who am I?," Sims said.

The Territory's Chris Milton contributed to this report.


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