Plenty of prospects, some of them high-profile, others under-the-radar, have come and gone in the past decade or so, since the inception of the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl. Still, the talent level across the board on the national level has been about as good as it gets.
Things don’t figure to change anytime soon, either, as the hype continues to build for this year’s games: The first on Dec. 22 at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, the second on Jan. 14 at Jacksonville Jaguars’ EverBank Field and the third on Jan. 21 at Oakland Raiders’ Coliseum.
To gain a better understanding about the rapidly growing direction of things, perhaps it’s best to take some time to reflect on the humble beginnings. Therefore, moving forward, the plan is to more closely examine the brand’s many alumni from all over the country.
Steven Sims from Travis (TX) is the focus here. A member of the Class of 2015, and after first bursting on the scene during the brand’s All-American Combine (Southwest Regional), an invite followed to the game at AT&T Stadium, a 7-6 victory for West over East.
Plans were in motion for him to team with the likes of Boise State commit Brett Rypien, Oklahoma commit Dahu Green, Oklahoma State commit Jalen McCleskey, Nebraska commit Christian Gaylord and South Dakota State commit Luke Sellers, among many others.
Unfortunate as it was, however, the scenario never materialized. Sims was focused on the bigger picture, playing at the next level, that was his sole focus. Perhaps rightfully so, with much at stake. A slow start to the recruiting process picked up late in the game, thankfully.
Faster and stronger each day, week, and month, he possesses plenty of upside. Looking for proof? See for yourself when the 5-foot-10 and 175-pound sophomore wide receiver for Kansas lines up on Nov. 12 against Iowa State in a Big-12 Conference game at 1 p.m. (EST).
In the season opener, Sims finished with 124 receiving yards on five catches with two touchdowns in a 55-6 nonconference victory over Rhode Island. Seven days later, he had 114 receiving yards on four catches and two more scores in a 37-21 nonconference loss to Ohio.
Sims on pace for nearly 900 receiving yards and more than 72 catches. Chances are, he moves in on the Top 10 for the program’s single-season receiving yardage list. There’s no question about it, his role as a starter will be reasonably safe in the foreseeable future.
As a freshman, he played in 11 games, six starts. Sims nabbed a pass in every game and finished with a team-high 349 receiving yards on 30 catches with two touchdowns. Modest numbers some onlookers would point out. It was a sign of good things to come, though.
The future is bright, regardless. Maybe with a path in place to the NFL. Only time will tell. This much is certain, Sims benefitted from the exposure at the brand’s All-American Combine in Texas and invite to All-American Bowl in the Lone Star State. The rest is history.