Herschel Sims: His Coach's Take

GoPokes.com is interviewing the high school coach for each of the Oklahoma State commitments in the days leading up to National Signing Day. In this installment of "His Coach's Take," we visit with Abilene High School head coach Steve Warren about five-star running back Herschel Sims, who has not spoken with any media since his official visit to Oklahoma State this past weekend.

What are his strengths as a football player?
Steve Warren: I just think he's a complete back. I think he's got great footwork, I think he's got very good speed, and he's big enough to have some power about him as well.

What do you believe will be his biggest challenge in going from high school to playing in the Big 12?
Steve Warren: I think just like any of these high schools kids it's just a brand new arena for them. Everything about it is brand new, and it's a whole another level. You can't really prepare for it until you get in it. I think that will be the biggest transition for him. I've always seen him step it up to another level whether it be in a big game or whether it be progressing through school for us. I don't think he'll have any issues.

Was there one game, or maybe even one play, during his career that you'll always remember?
Steve Warren: He made a lot of tremendous runs during his career but there are really two plays that stick out in my mind. Actually there's probably two his junior year and one his sophomore year. His junior year, we're playing the number one team in the state in Cedar Hill, and we had just stopped them on the goal line. We got the ball on the 4-yard line coming out. We put him in in what everybody refers to as the "wildcat" formation, and he takes the direct snap and goes 96 yards for the touchdown. That was the turning point in that game. He broke it 96 yards against a team that had 19 kids sign to play college football, so there was a lot of talent on that field and nobody caught him. In the state championship game, they were really trying to keep him bottled up, and they had, but in the fourth quarter he made a phenomenal 62-yard run to seal the deal. It was a great, great run. We didn't block anybody on that play. He made them all miss.

What are three words that describe him as a football player?
Steve Warren: Very, very humble. Those are the three words that come to mind.

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Steve Warren: I just think he liked the idea of how they run the football. Over the years, even this year as much as they tried to achieve some balance they were still at the top of the conference as far as running the football. He really connected with their coaches. I know their coaches have changed since he got started down this path, but he had his official visit this past weekend and really likes the new running backs coach.

What type of impact do you expect him to have on the OSU football program?
Steve Warren: Well, I really think we'll look up in a couple of years and maybe he'll be following in the footsteps of all those great running backs ... Kendall Hunter is the guy that everybody right now knows about. But hopefully in a couple of years that could be Herschel, and I think that's his mindset anyway.

Over the course of his college career, whether it be four or five years, what do you expect him to accomplish?
Steve Warren: He and I have talked about this and I have one goal for him and that's for him to graduate. That's what I want him to do more than anything else. I think he'll be a great player and all that good stuff, but I've told him that I'll be there when he walks across that stage to get that diploma.

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Steve Warren: Just his work ethic. A lot of real, real talented kids don't work that hard because they know they're probably not going to get pushed at the high school level. I mean we didn't have another back in his class, and there wasn't anybody that was going to take his job, and he knew that. But at the same time he worked as hard as he could to make himself the best player he could be. I really appreciated that because he would have played whether he did or he didn't. He's a great kid.

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