Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Column: James Sims leading when Jayhawks need it most

Kansas running back James Sims takes off for a touchdown past Oklahoma State defensive end Ryan Robinson during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas running back James Sims takes off for a touchdown past Oklahoma State defensive end Ryan Robinson during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.


A football team with an uncertain quarterback situation is a team in need of a leader. Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis shared Tuesday an anecdote that revealed which one of his players has filled that void.

Six games into the first Weis team, it’s clear the leader whose lead the players follow is the guy who was suspended the first three games after a DUI arrest.

James Sims led by more than example when his relentless running coincided with the change at quarterback in the second half of Saturday’s 20-14 loss to Oklahoma State.

“I’ll create some James lore, OK,” Weis said. “Now, of course, he didn’t say it to me, but he went into the huddle and told the offensive line, ‘Just give me a little bit more time and I’ll get it in the end zone.’ This was when we were on our end of the field and a few plays later, OK, a few plays later he’s in the end zone.”

This would be the same running back who came to Kansas from the Dallas Metroplex so shy he requested and was granted permission to skip media sessions under former KU head coach Turner Gill.

Sims backed up his promise with a 30-yard run that showcased his patience, vision, sharp cutting ability and enhanced speed that came in part because he dropped a few pounds from last season.

“Let me tell you something, those linemen and those tight ends and those other guys, when you say something and then you back it up, they block a little harder, they block a little longer, they try a little harder. They want to be a part of it,” Weis said. “Those offensive linemen score vicariously through those running backs. That’s how they score. That was a good thing.”

Sims stopped running after he got through the end zone. That’s when he flexed both arms and kept them in that pose for a while, an illustration of just how far he has come out of his shell and just how rapidly his adrenaline was pumping.

Too much showboating? Not for Weis.

“I think that any time that their personality comes out and I don’t get a 15-yard penalty, that’s fine with me,” Weis said. “I mean, I like celebrating, just as long as it’s within the rules and doesn’t cost you yardage. I’m never against it. I think that you have to make sure that whatever you do isn’t just about you and doesn’t cost your team.”

Sims averages 114.7 rushing yards per game, but isn’t listed among Big 12 leaders in that category because he has played in just half the team’s games. Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle leads the conference with 122.8 yards per game and Oklahoma’s Damien Williams ranks second with 101.6 yards a game.

“Last week, everyone was talking about that No. 1 from Oklahoma State,” Weis said. “Now they’re talking about Damien. I mean, a lot of people better start looking at that guy on our team.”


Mat Davis 9 years, 7 months ago

It's amazing what Sims has been able to do, when you consider our WR have been less than stellar and our QB play has left a lot to be desire. Teams are stacking the box, daring us to throw it, and yet he still gets it done in a one dimensional offense. Impressive stuff.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 7 months ago

James Sims is an absolute stud. Because of the teams he has played on, he will be underrated. Sad, because he is one of the best we have ever had.

Steve Jacob 9 years, 7 months ago

Positive stories about a 1-5 team? I don't seeing anything positive in this paper or the Star about the 1-5 Chiefs.

Micky Baker 9 years, 7 months ago

Interesting changes in the depth chart this week. Turzilli is moved over to backup Pick but only 2 wideout positions are listed this week whereas 3 positions were listed last week. This could be part of the chess match. I expect to see Turzilli and Omigie on the field at the same time on several plays coming this week. Beshears is not listed on the depth chart any where this week, could be due to injury. I think that Cummings will be in the game in the Jayhawk along with Christian Matthews due to Matthews ability to play the slot position in place of Beshears. Brandon Bourbon, who I believe was listed behind Sizemore a week ago is now the number 1 fullback. This could be a positive development because of Bourbon won the job, I think he has real potential to take the pressure off the 3 tailbacks when the opponent stacks the box.

But, if they do stack the box, why not change the formation with 10 to 12 seconds left in the play clock when OU guesses wrong and send Pierson or Sims out to the slot and spread it out causing mismatches that we can win?

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

“Last week, everyone was talking about that No. 1 from Oklahoma State,” Weis said. “Now they’re talking about Damien. I mean, a lot of people better start looking at that guy on our team.”

With all due respect coach, I'd just as soon they continue to over-look him.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 7 months ago

I remember one specific play from Saturday where Sims got the ball and he went hard up the middle. He hit a defensive lineman head on (#72 I believe) and he pushed the guy straight back another 4 yards before he went down.

Sims is a monster. I love watching him run with the football.

Jayhawker111 9 years, 7 months ago

Sims and Mundine --need to continue get these guys the ball - they are good.

Also the number of television timeouts has got to be addressed.

There are so many television commercials that there is no momentum to the game.

The game is stopped so many times that a player does not even need to be in shape.

With the technology available tv can run the game and commercials simultaneously.

.I decided last week I am no longer going to pay $80 for a ticket and then have to sit in the rain, so Tv can run commercials.

Football should cater to the fan buying a ticket - not to the tv crowd.

Television has ruined sports!


shelleysue 9 years, 7 months ago

I've never looked at the commercials except from an annoyance angle. But I think you have a point.

Doug Roberts 9 years, 7 months ago

Totally agree!!! There is absolutely no reason to have a commercial after a kickoff. And if they are going to review any and every play that is close, then they need to streamline the review process. You can usually tell from the first replay whether the call was correct or not, and it takes the review process several minutes to figure it out.

Unfortunately, football and TV have a very symbiotic relationship, but the commercial breaks have really gotten out of hand. There's absolutely no need for the 2 minute warning in the NFL either. Just corporate greed.

jhox 9 years, 7 months ago

The only bad thing about Sims playing well is that it means less carries for Cox, and I'm not convicted that Cox isn't the better back. A group in our section was discussing that on Saturday. I hope to see them use Cox a bit more. We are blessed with a number of very good backs. Too bad we can't trade for some D linemen.

Jeremy Hays 9 years, 7 months ago


First, with all due respect, Sims is more experienced, harder runner, more patient and understands all the pass blocking. I am not saying I don't like cox in the backfield but it's hard not to say that Sims is not only the best back on the team but in top 3 in the big 12. Second I don't think our DL are that bad hell it's held TCU with their Drug using QB to 20 and the nations top scoring offense to 20. Pretty good if you ask me.

hucking_fawks_rock 9 years, 7 months ago

Agreed. Campo has been doing great things with what he has. We really have a hell of a coaching staff. Can't wait to get some more talent rotating through.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 7 months ago

I like Cox, too, but there is no question Sims is the better back. Cox has power, but I don't know if he has any more power than Sims. Sims is also faster, I think. Finally, while Cox may be a little shiftier, it seems that Sims just has a knack for finding a hole and exploding through it. Finally, I found myself worried that when Cox had the ball he might fumble based on prior games. I don't have that worry with Sims.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 7 months ago

The guy's an animal. He runs with power, speed, and intelligence.

That triple-threat is not a common thing. We should feel lucky we have him right now. A true bright spot for this team, especially since he's only a junior.

KGphoto 9 years, 7 months ago

One thing I forgot about Sims but was reminded of when he ran through some defenders last Saturday. According to Rivals, the guy dead-lifted 600 pounds coming out of high school. That's incredibly impressive for a 200 pound kid, and then THAT reminded me...

A good friend of mine, who was a great gymnast, lifted at the gym one day and was noticed by the weightlifting coach. The coach noticed his form and asked him to try doing some Olympic style lifts. He did so well that he was immediately added to the team. He competed in the snatch, and the clean. Both begin with a deadlift.

What amazed me was how much technique was involved. This guy had average looking legs and overall muscle mass, but he had perfect lifting technique and it just came naturally. Guys he competed against worked for years trying to perfect it. He just had it.

He ended up competing once only, and broke a few AAU national records for his weight class (65.5KG). After his last lift (87.5KG snatch), and I'll never forget this, they literally yanked him off the stage and drug tested him. Negative of course. He just had the technique. He really didn't like the experience, for some reason, and quit immediately after the competition, but did agree to do a photo shoot for a manual on perfect weightlifting technique.

I don't know James personally, but I get the same feeling about him as I did my good friend. His god-given ability isn't visible until you give it the test. There are no bulging muscles on this kid, yet he puts up 600 pounds. He doesn't clock a great 40 time, but I've never seen him caught from behind.

James Sims just has it.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.