Recruiting: Sims Makes His Coach Proud

It's not necessary to name the long list of suitors for running back Herschel Sims of Abilene, Texas. If you follow college football recruiting then you you know schools like Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Miami, and USC were after Sims. That is why when Sims dialed the Cowboys number and made his verbal pledge that constituted a huge recruiting victory for Mike Gundy and his coaching staff.

At 5-9, 190 pounds and with legit 4.5 or better speed, his high school head coach Steve Warren at Abilene understands the excitement.

"They should be (excited)," said Warren. "He is a great football player, but he is a tremendous kid. He is the kind of player that makes me a better football coach.

"He is still committed to another season at Abilene and we are very happy about that. We are happy that is going to get his (college) education and somebody else is going to pay for it," Warren said.

Warren said there were two primary reasons that Sims decided on Oklahoma State and the Cowboys.

"Number one, I think he felt very comfortable with their coaching staff," explained Warren. "He was there and spent a lot of time with them on Junior Day -- Coach (Mike) Gundy, Coach Robert Gillespie, his position coach, and Coach (Glenn) Spencer.

"The bottom line is we knew that Oklahoma State led the Big 12 in rushing the last two years and they are committed to running the ball. Even with Coach Dana Holgorsen coming in, they are going to do some different things, but he is going to really fit their offense.

"When he was a sophomore we had a thousand yard rusher returning and we had to find different ways to get him the football and he ended up leading us in receiving. He had over 500 yards receiving and a lot of that was on screens," said Warren.

Sims is a perfect match for the Holgorsen offense that like Sims has roots in West Texas. Sims has proven he can run and especially loves running and making plays in space. He also proved he can catch the ball, he likes catching the ball. He also averaged 42.2-yards on kickoff returns.

"He is not a 4.3 guy but he is fast," said the veteran head coach. "He is as fast on the football field in a uniform as he is in track. I know last year in the playoffs he ran away from all those guys at Cedar Hill that are really fast. He was as fast as anybody on the field when he went 97 yards on a run and nobody touchded him."

During the 15-0 campaign last season that culminated with a win over Katy in the Class 5A Division II state championship game, Sims rushed for 2,337 yards on 264 carries. He scored a school record 32 rushing touchdowns and had 40 touchdowns overall. He averaged 8.9-yards per carry and 155.8-yards per game. He caught 25 passes for 429 yards and 5 touchdowns.

His single game highlights came on a weekly basis but he had 14 carries for 215 yards and two touchowns against Burleson. He rushed for 281 yards and four touchdowns against Richland Hills, and 247 yards and two touchdowns against North Crowley.

In the playoffs he rushed for 270 yards and four touchdowns on 30 carries against powerhouse Cedar Hill. The next week he carried 35 times for 213 yards and four touchdowns against Arlington Bowie and future Cowboys Diamonte Wheeler and Montra Nelson. In the title game he carried 12 times for 101 yards (8.4-ypc) against Katy.

Recruiting hype is plentiful, and Sims will have to prove himself, as does every Division I college football player, against college and in this case Big 12 competition. The difference is what Sims has done at the high school level against some of the best competition that Texas high school football has to offer.

His accomplishments are no fluke and that is why he is considered one of the top running back prospects in the nation in the 2011 class. He is also a team player.

"No question, Cowboy fans will enjoy that he will go out and do anything and everything he can to help his team win. Even though he was the 5A Player of the Year and All-State and All-American in the state championship game our quarterback had a big night rushing the ball because everybody on Katy was tackling Herschel and he just kept doing it (being the decoy) and that is who he is."

Sims is a teriffic combination of speed and strength. He can run with power and break tackles, but often times doesn't have to because defenders have a hard time getting a decent shot at him.

As a sophomore Sims rushed for 760 yards and 13 touchdowns on 71 carries giving a preview of things to come with his 10.7-yards per carry average and that was besides being the team's leading receiver as Coach Warren mentioned.

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