Unbridled Enthusiasm

The Florida State Seminoles met with the media this morning at the athletic center. Today also is Fan Day at the Civic Center, giving the FSU faithful an opportunity to see the Seminoles up close and personal. Sophomore linebacker <b>Ernie Sims</b> is a hometown hero, playing at nearby North Florida Christian before selecting the Seminoles over the Gators and others. Sims is expected to play a key role in FSU's defense this season. Click here for an update.

Ernie Sims' mindset is simple.

It's about making plays, and Sims wants to make as many as he possibly can this season.

Be it at linebacker or special teams, games or practice.

"With me, it's not (about) if I start or not," Sims said on Sunday during Florida State's media day.

"As long as I am making plays on the field, that's what the coaches want to see. If you are making plays, that's what I want to see."

Seminole fans also are excited to see Sims and the rest of FSU's linebacker corps. Many believe the unit has the potential to be one of the best in the country.

It's a young, athletic, explosive group.

Sims, of course, is currently second on the depth chart at strongside linebacker behind senior Ray Piquion.

The personable and polite Sims, a sophomore from nearby North Florida Christian, feels good about his progress and relationship with good friend Piquion.

"With Ray, it's a great relationship because he's the veteran in what he's doing right now," Sims said and smiled.

"Me, it's a learning experience. I am learning from him. As a matter of fact, we are making each other a better player. In some aspects he's better than me. Some aspects I am better than him. Through it all, we are still helping each other and not fighting."

There's no denying Sims' overall ability.

Even FSU linebackers coach Kevin Steele has marveled at Sim's athleticism, pointing out his "enthusiasm for contact" and "the ability to deliver that contact."

"I don't know how good he can be because I don't know if I have ever coached one that good," Steele said.

Sims also prides himself in being a complete player, and that means contributing on special teams. Sims, Pat Watkins and Antonio Cromartie anchor the Seminoles' "speed zone" on kickoff coverage.

"Special teams, that's a big part of football games. You can win every aspect of a football game, but if you lose special teams, you can every well lose the game. I love playing special teams. I am on every one of them. I love it. It gives players an edge. It shows you are having fun out there."

Sims and Florida State enjoyed a productive first week of practice in preparation for the season-opener at Miami on Labor Day, Sept. 6.

Sims is glad to get the Hurricanes right out of the gate.

"I am very excited," Sims said.

"Let's beat them right off the bat. Let's not even wait until midseason to beat them. Once we get them out of the way, we are very certain -- it's not going to be a piece of cake -- but we are very certain that we will have a chance to win the national championship."

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