Slimmer Sims Ready to Contribute
That’s because, basically, he’s lost half of one.
Sims has shed over 50 pounds since arriving at Ole Miss in the summer of 2014, dropping his weight from 384 to 330. His weight-loss approach was simple. He set small goals for himself and kept reaching them, and he’s not done. Sims wants to get down to about 320 for the season.
“Really, just portions. That was the biggest thing,” he said. “Just making sure I eat three solid meals a day; make sure I don’t skip any meals. With the workouts that we do in the mornings and the afternoons, it’s top of the line. It was easy after that.”
Seeing results on the scale was motivation enough for Sims, who didn’t see action and was redshirted last season. The more pounds he lost, the harder he worked. And his efforts paid off through improved play on the practice field.
Sims received the Eli Manning Award as the team’s most improved offensive player in the spring.
“I felt great,” Sims said. “I could see a difference in my performance on the field and in the weight room, and just my attitude and confidence about things. It was something that I wanted to keep going and build upon.
“I felt like a real football player. I was pulling a lot quicker and was just able to get my step down. I didn’t feel like I had a 50-pound vest on most of the time. It was a big help. It made it a lot more fun, too.”
Now the 6-foot-4 Sims, a former three-star prospect by way of Homewood, Ala., is looking to work his way into the Ole Miss offensive line rotation. He’s currently repping at both left and right guard in fall camp, all the while acting as a mentor to newcomers Javon Patterson, Alex Givens and others.
“If I keep performing well, I think I’ll be able to see the field some this year,” he said. “It’s up to (Ole Miss offensive line) coach (Matt) Luke; he knows what’s best. He’s a great coach, and he’s been in the league. He knows what it takes to play in this league.
“We’re all doing well. I feel like the past year or two of recruiting has really stepped up. Javon and Alex Givens and those other younger guys are great. They’re going to be great athletes in the future. They’re coming along. That step from high school to the SEC is a big jump, but we always take care of them.”
Patterson ran with the first-team offensive line at left guard Tuesday, the last day the media was allowed to view practice. Sims has been impressed with Patterson, a true freshman once ranked as a four-star prospect by Scout.com.
“He’s really smart and strong to be that young,” he said. “He’s going to be a top draft pick when he gets to that level. He’s a great athlete. Coach Luke couldn’t have made a better decision by recruiting him.”
Patterson is just the latest in an influx of talent for the Rebel offensive line. Sims has noticed as much during film study. A once-thin room has suddenly filled up.
“Just looking in the room, we’ve got a lot of veterans, we’ve got a lot of young guys that know what they’re doing,” he said. “We have a really talented group. People bash us about not being able to run the ball, but I think this year we’re going to make a statement.”
Ole Miss was among the worst rushing teams in the SEC last season, finishing 10th overall. Sims said the offensive line has taken the criticism that has followed personally.
“This summer we always took 30 minutes after workouts and did drills every single day outside,” he said. “In the offseason, just putting in work. Everybody’s losing weight and just doing whatever we can to be better as a group.”
No one more so than Sims.
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