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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

James Sims still looking for shot in NFL

Former Kansas University running back James Sims sprints through the finish of the pro shuttle drill in front of a couple of NFL scouts on Friday at Memorial Stadium. Thirteen other former Jayhawks joined Sims at KU’s annual Pro Day on Friday, March 14, 2014, at the KU football facilities.

Former Kansas University running back James Sims sprints through the finish of the pro shuttle drill in front of a couple of NFL scouts on Friday at Memorial Stadium. Thirteen other former Jayhawks joined Sims at KU’s annual Pro Day on Friday, March 14, 2014, at the KU football facilities.

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Former Kansas University running back James Sims is still looking for his shot in the NFL.

In early May, Sims, KU’s third leading rusher of all time, went undrafted but was picked up as a free agent by the Green Bay Packers in the hours immediately following the draft. One problem: Sims’ deal with the Packers was for a weekend tryout only and did not come with any financial compensation or guarantee.

With Green Bay’s rookie mini-camp having come and gone, Sims now is back home in Irving, Texas, waiting for the next call, according to Demond Kauffman, Sims’ agent, who is in his second year as an NFL-certified representative.

“He did fairly good at the tryout,” Kauffman told the Journal-World by telephone on Monday. “But, financially, the Packers were committed to too many running backs and weren’t able to offer him a contract.”

So, just as he was throughout last month’s seven-round draft, Sims is watching and waiting for a chance that may or may not come.

Kauffman, whose company, Royalty Management, is based in Houston, said “several teams” had shown interest in Sims since he left Green Bay and that he was keeping an eye on how the NFL’s ongoing Organized Team Activities played out while searching for Sims’ next opportunity.

“He’s still working out, staying in shape and waiting to see what’s the next move,” Kauffman said. “I felt the Packers were a great spot and, actually, there’s a chance that he might get called back into their camp. I think he’ll get his chance.”

Sims is now hoping to be one of 90 players invited to one of the 32 NFL training camps later this summer. From there, he would have to survive a series of cuts designed to whittle down that number to the 53-man roster that each franchise takes into the regular season in September.

“He’s been doubted his entire career,” Kauffman said. “And we have 100 percent faith that he’ll make the most of whatever opportunity he gets.”

Turzilli leaving?

Wide receiver Andrew Turzilli, who graduated from KU in May, revealed via Twitter on Monday that he was leaving Kansas.

“Well my time at Kansas has come to an end,” Turzilli wrote. “Thanks for 4 great years.”

A native of Butler, N.J., Turzilli played three seasons at KU after red-shirting in 2010. He caught 27 passes for 491 yards and made seven starts.

Turzilli remained on KU’s official roster as of Monday evening, but, as a recent graduate, he could transfer to another school and be eligible to play his final season immediately. There’s no word yet on whether he will continue to play football.

Commitment coming?

Jarek Smalley, an offensive lineman at Garden City Community College recently told JayhawkSlant.com’s Jon Kirby that KU was his run-away leader and that he may commit to the Jayhawks during his official visit later this month.

The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Smalley is listed as a tackle and, according to Rivals.com, was receiving heavy interest from Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State and South Florida.

Thus far, KU’s lone commitment in the Class of 2015 is from Bishop Miege High quarterback Ryan Willis.

Comments

Titus Canby 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I can't believe a team hasn't picked up Sims yet. Like Charlie says, he racked up huge yardage behind a horrible OL. I'd love to see the Chiefs pick him up. He has great talent and an even greater drive to win.

Turzilli, say it isn't true. But I can't blame him if he wants to finish his career with a team where the QB actually gets time to throw.

Jim Jackson 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Turzilli is leaving because he knows he is not going to play. A healthy Pierson, Harwell and Coleman are going to be leading the WR unit and I expect a couple of talented true frosh to play as well.

Also, there could be up to 3 more players added to this class; transfers who would be eligible this fall.

Aaron Paisley 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Unfortunately for Sims, none of his measurables stand out. His vision is his best attribute, but that's not really a quantifiable measurement. I hope he gets a shot with a shot with someone other than Green Bay that focuses on running the ball more.

Turzilli is someone who had a ton of potential, but was never properly coached on how to catch or run routes. I hope he decides to keep playing at a smaller school where he can some exposure because he has the size and speed to get looks at the NFL level.

Tyler Emerson 4 months, 3 weeks ago

More incredible is that he put those numbers up his last season, SITTING OUT MULTIPLE GAMES at the beginning of the year! Scouts must be seeing something else there to keep him from getting a deal anywhere. But whatever it is, I can't put my finger on it.

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