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Monday, July 22, 2013

KU running back Sims confident, motivated as senior

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— In his first season, former Kansas coach Turner Gill told each of his freshmen that if they were uncomfortable, he would make sure they wouldn’t have to do interviews during their first year.

Only one player took him up on his offer: running back James Sims.

The same Sims that comfortably sat at an elevated table answering questions for two hours during Monday’s Big 12 media days at the Omni Hotel.

“I’ve come a long way — coming from not talking to anyone to talking to everyone to even being on this stage right now,” Sims said. “It’s a good feeling to know that you can overcome anything if you put your mind to it.”

Three years ago, Sims — he didn’t have much media coverage other than phone interviews in high school — said it always felt like cameras and reporters kept creeping closer to him. That caused anxiety, as did the feeling that he might not say the right things.

After a few interviews early his freshman year, he sat out the rest of the year, working on his public speaking by talking into a video camera then later watching himself on film.

“I feel like I’ve grown a lot, and I’m way more comfortable now than what I have been before,” Sims said. “It’s a good thing.”

As far as football goes, Sims isn’t lacking motivation.

After tying for the league lead with 112.6 rushing yards per game a year ago, Sims was not selected as one of the Big 12’s two preseason all-conference selections by regional reporters.

Sims admits he was surprised by the snub.

“I guess this really is off wins and losses,” Sims said. “ ... If you don’t get wins, it really doesn’t mean anything.”

The 6-foot, 202-pound senior also has used newspaper articles to stay focused in the offseason. He’s placed a few stories just to the side of his bed, with some talking about how KU is picked to finish last in the conference and others praising him for his season last year.

Some articles are meant to fire him up while others serve as a reminder to avoid complacency.

“I look at it day by day as, ‘This wasn’t luck for me to get here where I am. It took hard work,’” Sims said. “To get better than what I was, I’m going to have to push myself even harder.”

Comments

Kman_blue 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I guess I'm missing something with the stats here.

Sims averaged 112.6 yards per game over every game he played last year (includes non-con), and the #2 rusher in the Big 12, Joseph Randle averaged 109.0 yards per game of the entire season. That's not a tie as far as I can tell.

Sims averaged 115.2 yards per game within the league, while the #2 rusher Randle averaged 112.9 yards per game within the league. Again, that's not a tie.

So WHO did Sims supposedly tie with for the league lead in rushing????

It looks to me he lead the league in rushing both in within the league as well as for the entire season.

Here's the official stats for the entire season: http://www.big12sports.com/ViewContent.dbml?CONTENT_ID=226011&DB_OEM_ID=10410#conf.wi2

Here's the official stats for just Big 12 games: http://www.big12sports.com/ViewContent.dbml?CONTENT_ID=242244&DB_OEM_ID=10410#conf.wi2

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Mark Lindrud 8 months, 4 weeks ago

We all know the passing game was crap lol last year. Sims had 8 men in the box most of the time. Hopefully, a balanced attack will make his numbers sky rocket.

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jayhawkintx1973 8 months, 4 weeks ago

I think Sims will have some big games this year with the weapons out on the edge, and with the return of Peterson, Sims will have fresher legs and if they try to key on Sims and Peterson gets the ball, the defenses will pay for that.

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Brett McCabe 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Sims was the best back in the conference last year, and it wasn't really close. Should have been first-team all-conference.

Because of our depth at RB, he might gain fewer yards this year but Charlie will get him into the league and earning a paycheck next year.

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iamakufan 8 months, 4 weeks ago

I'm really looking forward to watching Sims this coming season. I don't expect him to average as many rushing yards per game simply because the team has more options this season. But he'll still be an elite player and a quality person. And he'll have some really big plays. While he is right to feel snubbed by not being named on the pre-season all Big XII list I hope he remembers it's the list at the end of the season that means the most. In other words, it's not what they think you can do but what you actually do that counts.

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jhawkrulz 8 months, 4 weeks ago

I thought Turner Gill was a QB for Nebraska...when did he get labeled a Coach?

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nuleafjhawk 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Sims' "snub" probably had more to do with the fact that he wasn't talking to the media than the wins and losses.

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s6u6r6f 8 months, 4 weeks ago

If Sims gained 112.6 with last year's offensive line, what might he do with what we hope will be this year's upgraded version? Rock chalk.

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