Sims Shines for John I Leonard

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When John I Leonard Head Coach Terry Gough learned that 5-9, 180 pound tailback Damian Sims would be transferring into his program, all he knew was that Sims had been a productive tailback at Pope John Paul II High School.

Gough quickly learned Sims’ reputation was accurate, and would come to wish his star back would have transferred into his program sooner.

“I wish I had him all four years,” Gough said. “Every time he touches the ball, there is a possibility for a big gain. He has terrific vision and explosion when he hits the hole. He platooned with our other tailback for the first five games of the year, but became our full-time starter after that. He still finished with 1,400 yards rushing and really helped us out.”

Most of the schools recruiting Sims are looking at him as an athlete. If he plays defensive back, cornerback is the position he will play. Coach Gough says Sims “is an excellent cover corner. He’s very good, and he plays bigger than his size. He’ll come up and hit somebody if he has to.”

Sims has received written scholarship offers from Kansas State, East Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Mississippi. Of those four, he has scheduled official visits with East Carolina this weekend, Kansas State for the weekend of December 19th, and Mississippi on January 10th.

He has scheduled a January 24th official visit with Virginia Tech, who has verbally offered a scholarship contingent upon seeing senior year film. According to Coach Gough, Tech Defensive Line Coach Charley Wiles will be in town to pick up the video tape within the next few days. Coach Gough expects Virginia Tech to come through with an official offer very soon after seeing Damian’s senior film.

Of the schools with scheduled official visits, three currently stand out.

“I like Virginia Tech, Kansas State, and Mississippi,” Sims said. “I’m wide open between those three. I’m probably going to base my decision on where I can play the earliest. I want to be able to contribute early.

“Right now, I want to make all five visits before making my decision. I’m listening to anyone that comes in. Pittsburgh was talking with me about setting up a date, but I haven’t heard from them in a few weeks. Florida State just came down to my school, and I am interested in them.”

Of the Hokies, Sims says “I like them. I think I could contribute early at Virginia Tech. If I