We’re just over 40 days from the start of the 2013 college football season, and that means preview countdowns! In the past, we’ve limited these lists to just the top 25 players, but this season, we’re upping our game to 50. So just about every day until the season starts, there will be a new player profile up here as we count down to the top ACC player for 2013.
Obviously these lists are always completely subjective — and thus completely bulletproof — so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, too.
David Sims’s numbers took a slight dip last season, but that’s more a testament to the depth Georgia Tech had at running back and the struggles this offense seemed to experience than his own issues. Giving up carries to Zach Laskey at the B-Back position, plus the typical number of A-Back and quarterback rushes, it was not easy for Sims to establish much of a rhythm. He may see some similar issues this year — Laskey is certainly coming up fast behind him on the depth chart — but with a full season of health (he missed two games last year), it should serve him well to bump that production back up.
As a power runner, Sims isn’t necessarily expected to pick up large chunks of yards, but it’s not as if he hasn’t done so before either. Last year’s 4.5 yards per carry was a significant drop from the 5.2 he averaged in 2011, plus his longest run last year was for just 19 yards. This season, he’ll have to find a way to strike a balance between the two. His 6’0″ and 222-pound frame isn’t overly punishing for opposing defenses, but just the same, he knows how to get past initial contact. When healthy, Sims can be a reliable power option that draws defenses into the middle of the field and frees up the edge for the team’s quicker backs. Him picking up big yardage might just seem like gravy, but it’s that ability to make big plays from any part of the field that can make this Georgia Tech offense so dangerous.
With newly installed quarterback Vad Lee, there’s also the chance that Sims will get further involved in pass-blocking as well — a fairly new concept for this team, and Sims himself, who used to be a quarterback in his own right. He’s come a long way since making the transition prior to 2011 as far as run blocking goes, but it’ll be interesting to see how much he gets involved in the passing game with Lee (who has a much better arm than former starter Tevin Washington) at the helm. Regardless of the capacity he’s used in though, there’s two things you can rely on with Sims: elite strength and a cerebral approach to the game. Not only does he meet with the running backs each week at Tech, but he also goes to the quarterback meetings, too. He’s also a stellar student, currently considering pursuing a master’s degree in either education or criminal justice. When you’ve got a player on your roster that can think on his feet and have a thorough understanding of your team’s two main offensive positions, you find any way possible to get him involved. That’s what Tech will be doing with Sims in his senior year, and it should pay some pretty big dividends.