He started as an unknown commodity on a team loaded with depth at running back. He finished with an honorable-mention nod on College Football News’ freshman All-America team and a spot on Rivals.com’s Big 12 all-freshman team.
Not a bad way for Kansas University running back James Sims to break into college football.
Sims’ honors were announced by KU on Wednesday. His impact was instant.
After sitting out the season opener against North Dakota State, Sims rumbled for 101 yards on 17 carries in a victory against Georgia Tech the following week.
The true freshman from Irving, Texas, added two more 100-yard games (115 yards on 16 carries vs. New Mexico State and 123 yards on 20 carries against Colorado) and turned in the fourth-best single-season rushing total by a freshman in school history. Sims’ 742 yards rushing (on 168 carries) were the most by a KU freshman since Clark Green ran for 813 yards in 2002. The total ranked Sims ninth in the nation among all freshmen.
Sims added nine TDs on the ground and 134 yards and another touchdown on 19 receptions to finish with nearly 1,000 yards of total offense and 10 TDs.
Perhaps the most overlooked accomplishment Sims achieved this season was the fact that his gross total was 749 yards on the ground.
That means in 168 carries, Sims lost just seven yards all season.
In addition to being the most potent weapon on an offense that struggled for most of the season, Sims made an impact on the KU record books.
His four touchdowns against Colorado tied a school record for TDs in a single game, and his trio of 100-yard games left him one away from tying the record for most triple-digit games by a freshman.
Four scheduled for early arrival
Wednesday marked the first day of the winter signing period for midyear, junior-college transfers. Kansas officially is expected to welcome one juco transfer, walk-on Bo Adams, a versatile lineman from Iowa Western Community College who projects as a center at KU.
Adams won’t be the only guy KU picks up this winter.
Also expected to arrive on campus in the next few weeks is defensive end Julius Green, 6-foot-7, 269 pounds, who was scheduled to join the Jayhawks last August but hit a snag when the NCAA did not allow one of his classes to transfer. Green, originally a member of the Class of 2010, took his official visit to KU last week and told Rivals.com he loved every second of it.
While waiting to become eligible, Green took one class at Houston Community College and has put on 20 pounds since September.
Two local high school prospects, Blue Valley West offensive lineman Dylan Admire, 6-2, 264, and Blue Springs’ (Mo.) running back, Darrian Miller, 5-10, 181, will graduate high school this month and will begin attending classes at KU next semester. Admire and Miller will room together at KU. All four players will be eligible for spring practices.
Meanwhile, highly touted juco quarterback Zack Stoudt, who on Monday chose Ole Miss over KU, was expected to send his letter to Oxford, Miss., on Wednesday, making him an official member of the Rebels’ program.
The midyear transfer signing period runs through Jan. 15, 2011. High school recruits from the Class of 2011 can begin signing their letters of intent Feb. 2.