Advertisement

Advertisement

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Kansas’ James Sims left off NFL Combine invite list

Kansas running back James Sims breaks through the West Virginia defense for yardage during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas running back James Sims breaks through the West Virginia defense for yardage during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.

Advertisement

Former Kansas University running back James Sims has been here before.

Overlooked by those who sent out the invitations to the NFL Combine, which starts Saturday and runs through Feb. 25, Sims finds himself in the familiar position of having to prove himself without any help from anyone else.

He did exactly that for four seasons at Kansas, where he heard year after year that someone new, someone better, was heading to campus to take his starting spot in the Jayhawks’ backfield. It never happened, of course, and Sims finished his Kansas career as a four-year starter who led the team in rushing for four consecutive seasons and set career-highs each time.

The totals left him with the third-highest career rushing total (3,592) in KU history and second all-time in rushing touchdowns (34) and 100-yard games (16).

While those accomplishments forever will be a part of his KU legacy, they mean very little right now, as Sims is focusing his efforts on earning a spot in the NFL.

KU coach Charlie Weis said throughout his two seasons with Sims that the 6-foot, 200-pound tailback had all the tools needed to make it in the NFL and play for a long time.

“He doesn’t have a glaring weakness,” Weis said. “I can’t see one reason why he wouldn’t play on Sunday. I think he’s a nice, solid player. I’d want him on my team.”

Sims’ omission from the NFL Combine hardly spells the end of his hopes at a pro career. Although Combine attendance has proven to be a solid indicator of how one will fare in the NFL Draft — May 8-10 — it is not the end-all be-all of one’s chances at making an NFL roster.

In recent years, Kansas has become the poster school for unheralded players finding their way onto an NFL roster after going undrafted. Last season, former KU players Chris Harris and Steven Johnson held down starting roles during the Denver Broncos’ run to the Super Bowl. Neither player was drafted, and only Johnson participated in the Combine.

Kansas is the only school of the Big 5 BCS football conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC) not to have a player invited to this year’s Combine. And while that might sting in some ways, for a guy like Sims, who never cared much for individual accolades or personal glory, it seems fitting.

As his final season at KU wound down, Sims opened up a little about his goal of playing professional football, something he said he never believed was possible just four years ago.

“I’ve thought about it a lot,” he said. “The NFL … it’s everyone’s dream to go there, and only a select few get chosen to go there. I’m a step closer to getting there. ... I’m just hoping for the best.”

Comments

Mark Lindrud 8 months, 1 week ago

There will still be ways to either get recognized so he can either get drafted or make a roster. He's determined enough take it happen.

Dirk Medema 8 months, 1 week ago

When are KU pro days? Charlie will gets scouts on campus and get James a shot.

Are there other candidates for Sundays?

Jim Jackson 8 months, 1 week ago

It's because of Charlie that Dayne Crist got a shot. Sims will get his chance, no doubt in front of people at KU pro day.

Glen Miller 8 months, 1 week ago

How in God's creation Crist got a invite and Sims did not is beyond me. This kid has been a good player on a not very good team for 4 years and has done more with less than any back in the country. He's got the size, vision, toughness and speed to compete in the NFL and it sickens me that he's not invited to the combine. I have seen some of those who have been invited and he deserves and invite over many of these other fools. I hope my Chiefs pick him up. The kid can just play ball and those are the kind of players that have long careers.

Mark Lindrud 8 months, 1 week ago

Agree with the Crist comment. As long as a decent number of scouts come to see him he can earn an opportunity. Someone will get a great talent and there's a need for RB this year.hope he doesn't end up in Jacksonville, but Houston would be a good landing spot or Atlanta.

Dirk Medema 8 months, 1 week ago

http://www.sbnation.com/nfl-mock-draft/2013/2/7/3963258/2013-nfl-combine-invites

Whiff on the Crist comment.

Dayne did not get an invite to the combine. He did get multiple shots at playing on Sundays, and you can bet that Charlie had something to do with it.

Jim Jackson 8 months, 1 week ago

Not a whiff, people misinterpreted. Dayne got a shot at the NFL via KU pro days because of Charlie's connections.

Glen Miller 8 months, 1 week ago

My apologies for misinterpreting the Crist situation. I'm sorry to have upset you so.

Randy Signor 8 months, 1 week ago

Oh, yeah, that makes sense, Big-12 leading rusher doesn't get a look?

Aaron Paisley 8 months, 1 week ago

I don't think Sims will get drafted because the value of RB's has diminished so much over the past few years. James Sims to me is an Emmitt Smith type in that he may not have many glaring weaknesses, but he also doesn't have any attributes that really stand out either. James Sims will make a roster and will be a solid NFL back.

Randy Bombardier 8 months, 1 week ago

wow. well you can't keep a guy like that down. He's an overcomer. This will just make it sweeter when he busts in the door.

John Miller 8 months, 1 week ago

Kansas is the only school of the Big 5 BCS football conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC) not to have a player invited to this year’s Combine

Commenting has been disabled for this item.