Big Ernie's a 'Nole!!

<b>Ernie Sims</b> admits he was nearly overwhelmed by the constant attention. It was less than 12 hours before Wednesday's National Signing Day, and Sims was still undecided about his future. He needed time to pray, think and reflect. Finally, around 11 p.m. Tuesday, Sims, a two-way standout at North Florida Christian High School, made his decision and informed his family He had selected <b>Florida State</b> over <b>Florida.</b> Click here for the details from Ernie's signing Wednesday.

Ernie Sims admits he was nearly overwhelmed by the constant attention. It was less than 12 hours before Wednesday's National Signing Day, and Sims was still undecided about his future. He needed time to pray, think and reflect.

Finally, around 11 p.m. Tuesday, Sims, a two-way standout at North Florida Christian High School, made his decision and informed his family He had selected Florida State over Florida in possibly one of the nation's most heated recruiting races.

Sims, considered the nation's top recruit by TheInsiders.com and many others, set off a wild celebration Wednesday morning when he pulled an FSU cap from his backpack and officially announced he would stay in his hometown to play for the Seminoles.

Sims and fellow NFC teammate Roger Heinz, who signed with North Carolina, unveiled their decisions at school news conference that was attended by family, friends, teammates and media outlets including ESPN. Sims' decision was one of the country's most anticipated, and he credited the FSU coaching staff for making the difference during his recruitment.

Sims, who indicated he wants to play linebacker at FSU, said the turning point was the Seminoles' recent hiring of linebackers coach Kevin Steel. Steele replaces Joe Kines, who left to become the defensive coordinator at Alabama. Sims said Georgia finished third behind FSU and UF in the recruiting process.

"I had pros and cons and I finally decided last night," Sims said. "I would have to say it came down to a coaching matter. Me and other players (Antonio Cromartie, DeCody Fagg) have talked and we made the decision. We talked about the coaches and made a decision on that.

"I just realized Florida State was the place for me. They have a new linebacker coach in coach Steele. He is a great man. He loves the Lord. I love the Lord. He loves animals. I love animals. It kind of matched. I kind of went with my heart."

Sims, whose parents attended FSU and were accomplished athletes for the Seminoles, says the process was difficult to juggle the final few weeks.

While he admitted his parents let him make his own decision concerning college, "I could see in his (father) heart he really wanted me to go to Florida State. As a father, he had to tell me, ‘Son, I want you to go where ever you want to go.' But when I told him I was going to Florida State last night, it was crazy around the house. He was running around the house, he was like "I couldn't see my son [not] playing for Florida State. It was a great time last night."

Sims said he informed FSU recruiting coordinator John Lilly of his decision Tuesday evening. Sims also said he wasn't concerned about the struggles that have plagued the Seminoles in recent seasons. Much has been made of FSU's problems on and off the field.

"All the Florida schools are going to have great recruiting classes," Sims said. "Of course, I am going to be the first person to hear (negatives) but I kind of blocked it all out. I went with my heart. I just went to a school I felt I needed to go. Coach Bowden was straight-up with me. He told me I would have a great opportunity to come in and showcase my talent."


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