Sims Set To Square Off Against Friend

OSU offensive tackle will be up against his longtime friend from the Cleveland area Saturday as the Buckeyes host Northwestern.

When Ohio State left tackle Rob Sims lines up for Saturday's Big Ten opener with Northwestern, he will likely be looking across at one of his oldest and best friends.

Barry Cofield is ticketed to start for the Wildcats at defensive end. He and Sims go back to when they were 7 years old at Cleveland-area Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church.

"We're friends and it's all in good fun," Sims said. "But Saturday will be a different story. It will be all business. I have a job to do first and after that we'll have a little hug."

Sims said he and Cofield played on the same basketball team as youngsters.

"He was always a little better than me," Sims revealed. "But football is a different story."

Although Sims moved from Cleveland Heights in the seventh grade, he and Cofield remained close.

"I moved to Macedonia and we never got to play together," he said.

They hooked up on the recruiting circuit in the summer of 2001, attending the OSU camp together.

"I tried to get him to come here," Sims said. "We went to camp here together. We thought he was going to get an offered. I did get an offer and held out a while (from verbaling) to see if he might be able to come here, too.

"It didn't work out, but he is happy at Northwestern."

Sims said he and Cofield talked by telephone last night.

"There has been a lot of tough talk the last couple of weeks, even for a couple of church boys," Sims said. "We knew he would be playing at end and I'd be playing at tackle. It was like, `You better be ready for the 27th.' We've been talking about it a long time. Maybe I can get in his head. I can't wait."

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