Counting Down the Big 12's Top Players

Day-by-day, we're counting down the top-50 Big 12 football players. Today, we have Kansas running back James Sims, at No. 44.

44) James Sims, sophomore RB, Kansas

Sims didn't get off the bench in Kansas's season-opening loss to North Dakota State. But by the end of the year, the Jayhawks couldn't keep him off the field.

Coming out of Irving MacArthur, Sims seemed like most Kansas recruits from the state of Texas: too small or too slow to garner serious interest from the state's bigger schools. At 6-foot and 206 pounds, Sims is somewhat of a 'tweener, too small to be a power back, but not fast enough to be a speed back.

But there's no measurement for a player's ability to change direction, nor for the vision to find open holes. One week after the Jayhawks rushed for just 96 yards on 32 carries (3.0 per carry) against North Dakota State, Sims rushed for 101 yards on 17 totes and a touchdown in his college debut, an upset win over Georgia Tech.

By the end of the year, it was safe to say that as Sims went, so went the Jayhawks. He topped 100 yards in reach of the Jayhawks' three victories, including a 123-yard, four-touchdown effort in a comeback victory over Colorado. Sims ended the year on a fairly high note as well, rushing for 160 yards on 38 carries (4.2 yards per carry) in losses to excellent Oklahoma State and Missouri teams.

That should set him up well for a strong sophomore season, one where he'll start off as one of the league's leading returning rushers.

2010 Stats: 168 carries, 742 yards, 10 touchdowns, 19 catches, 134 yards, one touchdown

No. 45: Texas Tech S Cody Davis

No. 46: Iowa State CB Leonard Johnson

No. 47: Kansas State S Ty Zimmerman

No. 48: Baylor DE/LB Tevin Elliot

No. 49: Kansas State DE Brandon Harold

No. 50: Kansas DE Toben Opurum

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