ABILENE, Texas – Herschel Sims knows his football accomplishments at Abilene High will mean nothing when he enters college.
His main goal this season is to stay healthy. After that, he'll start a fresh slate at Oklahoma State.
"You're the new kid, and I got to earn my way," he said. "I'm going to work my way into the backfield."
Sims heads into his senior season after coming off a stellar year. The team went undefeated (15-0) and won the state 5A-Div. II championship.
He rushed for 2,352 yards and 33 TDS, caught passes for five more touchdowns and ran back two kickoffs for scores.
This summer he volunteered for three days at a football camp run by his coach, Steve Warren.
"He just likes being a role model, no question about it, and does a great job of it," Warren said. "He's a tremendous kid on and off the field."
Sims played plenty as a sophomore behind a strong senior in the backfield. His numbers last season didn't come as too much of a surprise, said Warren, who is counting on Sims' leadership this year.
"We obviously knew that the physical ability was there all along," he said. "He's a tremendous athlete, very explosive, and has great strength and vision."
He'll get help in the backfield from his cousin, quarterback Ronnell Sims, who rushed for 17 touchdowns and passed for 18 more last year.
Recruiters from big programs, including Notre Dame and USC, courted him.
Sims has talent but understands what breeds success.
"The thing that separates you is your work ethic," he said. "I feel like I still got a lot of room to grow. There's always room for improvement, no matter where you are."