Profile 2003 - Ernie Simms, III

How would you like to sign a high school football player that people descibe as a cross between Herchel Walker and Derrick Brooks? This description fits Ernie Simms, III. Everyone has given QB Chris Leak the nod as the nation's top prospect for next season. Not so fast. It just may be Simms, from Tallahassee, Florida.

Ernie Simms, III #34
Running Back/ Linebacker
6-1.5, 225, 4.48 
Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian 

School Preferences: FSU, Florida, Miami, Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia, Southern Cal, LSU, Alabama

  • Offers: Over two dozen according to his coach 
  • Junior Stats: 164 tackls, 12 sacks, 41 tackles for a loss, 7 caused fumbles, 2 safeties - 82 rushes, 790 yds, 9.6 yds/ carry, 17 TDs 
  • Bench Press – 345; GPA – 3.5 
  • Other Sports – Track; 100 meters - 10.7, 22.00 200 meters; 51.0 400
  • Summer Camps - wants to attend TN, SO CAL, GA, AU, FSU, MIA
  • Comments:  many coaches felt he was the best player in Florida as a junior... could play on either side of the football at the next level... rare combination of size, speed and power... makes quick reads on defense and gets to the ball... super instincts and feel for the game on both sides of the ball.
  • Goals – "To rush for 1,500 yards and record 200 tackles" - Simms
  • Misc. – Mom (Alice) was a 7-time All-American in Track at Florida State and father (Ernie) played fullback at Florida State.

Profile 2003 - Ernie Simms, III (RB/LB)

"Ernie Simms is an NFL linebacker in my opinion," said North Florida Christian Head Coach Tim Cokely.  "He has great instincts.  Ernie reminds me of Derrick Brooks... very fast and quick and makes a lot of plays.  Offensively, he has that rare combination of size and speed.  He kind of reminds you of Herchel Walker when he was at Georgia.  Every college coach I have spoken with has offered him a scholarship including all five Florida schools."  

Simms just may be the best prospect to come out of the state of Florida in some time.  He could excel at either side of the football at the next level and he will certainly have a dilemma in choosing a position.  

"I could do either," said Simms.  "It will not bother me.  I just want to get on the field.  As a running back, I have enough speed to get around on the corner and the strength to break tackles and run right up the middle.
"Defensively, I could play inside or outside linebacker.  I like to move around and make plays.  I have a nose for the football and always seem to be around the ball."  

Simms has been so dominating in practice that they have banned him from hitting in practice.  "I hurt a couple of dudes so coach will not let me hit people anymore until Friday night.  I feel like on Friday night they let me out of a cage.  It is kind of really fun actually.  They call me "DEEBO" because I just have a bully mentality on the football field."
Simms has grown up in Tallahassee and has always been a Florida State fan.  However, he says he will look at the recruiting process with an open mind.  

"When I was growing up, it was my dream to play at Florida State.  I will make this decision with my heart because I have to go somewhere that best fits me and it may not be Florida State.  Everybody has a shot and I am completely wide open.  I am looking at the offensive and defensive systems, coaching and the environment both on and off the field."   

Simms has unofficially been to FSU and Auburn.  He will travel to Auburn once again this weekend and Georgia the following weekend.  This summer, he plans on camping at FSU, Miami, Auburn, Southern Cal, Georgia and Tennessee.  His team, NFC, has won four state titles a row.

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