MOBILE, Ala. – As he puts his skills on display for NFL talent evaluators during this week of practices leading up to the Senior Bowl, West Virginia running back Charles Sims hopes to prove himself capable of meeting multiple needs.
“I’m just an all-around back,” the 6-foot, 214-pound back says. “I try to mix in some [Matt] Forte, some [Arian] Foster. Just a hard worker. I can make plays on the field at any time, whether it’s receiver or running back.”
Sims finds himself among the top prospects at the Senior Bowl and with his NFL dream within reach after a series of moves over the course of his high school and college careers now appear to have paid off.
He attributes his versatility to a strong work ethic and his high school roots. After playing running back all the way up until getting to Westbury High School in Houston, Sims made the switch to wide receiver, where he developed his pass-catching skills for three seasons, before a new coach came in and moved him back to running back.
Sims earned a scholarship to the University of Houston, but after three seasons at Houston, Sims transferred to West Virginia to have a chance to play in the Big 12 and increase his chances of reaching the NFL. As a rising fifth-year senior, who had already graduated with a degree in education, Sims was eligible to play right away.
That move has paid off as well.
Sims just came off of a season in which he rushed for 1,095 yards and 11 touchdowns on 208 carries while becoming the first Mountaineers running back since Noel Devine in 2009 to top the thousand-yard mark.
He also served as a receiving threat for West Virginia, recording 45 catches (tied for first on the team) for 401 yards and three more touchdowns. Sims’ 1,549 all-purpose yards ranked second in the conference.
Although his pass-catching skills come naturally because of his background as a receiver, Sims says he has continued to work to ensure he developed into an effective route-runner as well. This week he aims to display those capabilities to NFL talent evaluators during practices and then in Saturday’s game.
It’s another step in the process, which will lead up to the next leg of Sims’ football journey.
“I’m just going to try to compete at a high level; showcase what I can do,” he said. “I think I’ve proven I’m not one-dimensional, and that I can learn new things. Hard work, everything else has paid off so far. I just want to keep doing that.”
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