Familiar Ground

Jones County (Miss.) Junior College linebacker Archie Sims made another official visit to West Virginia this weekend, and found a few things different from the last time he tripped to WVU.

That visit occurred two years ago when Sims, one of the top high school linebacking prospects in the state of Mississippi, made an official trip to check out the Mountaineer football program. So no, there weren't any violations, as WVU wasn't sneaking any extra visits in the recruiting process.

"There were a few new buildings but a lot of it was just like I remembered it," said Sims as he returned to the Magnolia State. "I liked it a lot then, and that hasn't changed."

During his high school recruiting process, only distance kept Sims form becoming a Mountaineer."

"It was just too far at the time, but I'm o.k. with it now," said the talented linebacker, who earned all-MACJC for his play at Jones County. His experience at Jones, plus more exposure to the sometimes rough and tumble world of collegiate recruiting, has apparently made the location of his eventual college choice a non-factor in his decision.

And that decision will be coming soon, as Sims said he will, "in the next day or two", make his choice. According to Sims, he will pick between Nicholls State, Central Arkansas and West Virginia – a selection list that would seem to favor the Mountaineers. However, he said that no final decision has yet been made.

"I want to talk it over with my Mom and Dad, and listen to their opinions," said Sims, who showed excellent range from his middle linebacker spot at Jones County. "But in the end, they will leave the decision up to me."

That statement might seem to eliminate one hurdle, as Sims' mother was also reportedly not enamored of her son playing so far from home. However, Sims reiterated that distance is no longer a factor, and with the other schools on his list also out of state, it looks as if that criterion has been removed from the decision-making process.

It wasn't a factor at all through most of the recruitment process for Sims, who committed to Mississippi State not once, but twice. He verballed to the Bulldogs out of high school, the reconfirmed that commitment in February of 2006 when he again pledged to coach Sylvester Croom and MSU. However, the coaching staff there recently called Sims and told him that did not have room for him, thus leading to a trip to a familiar place –the Mountain State.


Sims was hosted by potential position mate Mortty Ivy on his trip, and he got along well with the Pittsburgh-area native. Visit hosts are usually made with an eye toward a common bond, such as home area or position, and in this case it was the latter that won out. It worked out well for Sims, who proclaimed Ivy, "a cool guy".

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