Transfer of Charles Sims Gives West Virginia A Strong Run Game

October 06, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars running back Charles Sims (5) rushes for a touchdown during the first quarter against the North Texas Mean Green at Robertson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Cougars transfer running back Charles Sims will join the West Virginia Mountaineers, Joseph Duarte of The Houston Chronicle tweeted on Friday.

Sims is eligible immediately. His presence gives a West Virginia offense undergoing a major face-lift this off-season a tremendous boost. A product of the same offense Dana Holgorsen ran as UH offensive coordinator during the running back’s freshman season, Sims should integrate seamlessly.

The UH running back was reportedly in the mix for the Cal Golden Bears after a rumored transfer to play for former UH offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury and the Texas Tech Red Raiders was blocked. Sims was also a rumored entrant into the NFL supplemental draft.

Sunday football will have to wait a year; Sims continuing to ply his trade in college means a lot for West Virginia come Big 12 Saturdays.

The Mountaineer offense lost prolific quarterback Geno Smith and dynamic wide receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin to the NFL. The trio was primarily responsible for WVU’s 39.5 point per game attack.

Running back Andrew Buie returns from that prolific 2012 corps. With Sims joining him in the backfield, the pass-happy Mountaineers suddenly have one of the most intriguing ground games in the conference.

In three seasons at Houston, Sims produced 2370 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns. He was also a reliable option in the Cougars’ potent passing attack, hauling in 158 passes. Eight went for scores.

At 6-foot, 215 pounds, Sims is sturdy and a more prototypical feature back than the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Buie. Buie was West Virginia’s primary rushing option in 2012, but average fewer than 4.8 yards per carry. The addition of Sims to the backfield allows Buie to operate in a change-of-pace role that he may be more effective in.

Adding another capable ball carrier into the backfield doesn’t exactly mean Holgorsen will be installing a Wishbone. The Mountaineers still need to find clear answers at quarterback and wide receiver to run his version of the air raid spread, but the one-two combination on the ground certainly provides options for the rest of the offense.

Florida State transfer Clint Trickett is likely the favorite to replace Smith. Trickett played in nine games for the Seminoles during the 2011 season, filling in for an injured E.J. Manuel.

Topics: Football, Houston Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers

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