Sims is Ready for Contact

<br>The pads come on Thursday. Ernie Sims is a happy man.<br> <br>Sims, who is slowly earning the reputation of Florida State's hardest hitter, never has minded a little contact. In fact, he prefers the rough stuff.<br>

"I'll be real honest with you – I hate MAT drills," he said. "They are something that needs to be done from a technique standpoint and to keep us in shape but they really aren't my thing.

"To get back on the field and hit somebody – that's something I've been waiting for since the Gator Bowl."

Sims will have to wait until Labor Day to add to his highlight reel of bone crushing stops, something he did with regularity last season. Perhaps the best game for Sims spectacles was FSU's 36-3 spanking of Virginia Oct. 16.

In that game, Sims' sack of quarterback Marques Hagans in the first half ignited the raucous home crowd. Sims stormed through the line untouched and lifted Hagans fully off the ground before planting the Cavs' signal caller to the turf.

To encore, Sims blocked a punt in the third quarter, sending overwhelmed punter Sean Johnson sprawling out of the back of the end zone.

"I can't even explain how good it feels to lay someone out," Sims said. "All the defensive players love to annihilate someone coming across the line.
They thrive on that – I know I do."

This could be the last year that FSU fans get to enjoy the tenacity of Sims, a Tallahassee native who played his high school ball at North Florida Christian. (His younger brother Marcus will be a senior at NFC in the fall and one of the most sought-after prep targets in the nation.)

Both Sims and A.J. Nicholson appear likely candidates to head to the NFL after playing their junior seasons this fall. The Seminoles have prepared for that likelihood, inking eight linebackers in their past two recruiting classes.

While he says he plans to enjoy the services of Sims and Nicholson while he has them, FSU linebackers coach Kevin Steele will also work his younger linebackers in the rotation.

"Top to bottom this is the best group of linebackers I've been around,"
Steele said. "But at the same time you can never have too many linebackers.
We've recruited the best and we plan to play them. You never know what kind of situation you can get in with guys leaving early.

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