Spring practice is always an important time for quarterbacks but this spring could mean even more for new Nebraska football quarterback Jeff Sims.
It’s really interesting to think about the case of Jeff Sims, the former Georgia Tech starting quarterback that joined the Nebraska football program this offseason from the transfer portal.
The Huskers don’t necessarily have a starting job available, as last season’s starter Casey Thompson is going to be back. Thompson is out this spring due to an injury, but his presence didn’t prevent Sims from transferring after Nebraska football hired Matt Rhule as its head coach.
Rhule has ties to former Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins, who coached and recruited Sims. So Rhule knew plenty about the talented quarterback before Nebraska football made the move to land him in the portal.
Yet, Sims isn’t guaranteed anything. He does have three years of eligibility left, so if Thompson was able to win the job this year, Sims could theoretically sit for a year, keep two years left and be the starter after that.
Will things play out that way? Much of that will depend on Sims and what he does this spring.
Why the spring is a big opportunity for Nebraska Football’s Jeff Sims
Sims is getting a lot of hype this spring. He’s even gotten mentioned as a dark-horse Heisman candidate by different odds-makers. The potential is there and he’s a true dual-threat option.
However, Sims has a lot to prove. For starters, Rhule talked about accuracy and taking care of the football as two key traits he wants in quarterbacks. Sims is a career 57.5-percent passer with a 7.1 yards per attempt average. He also has 30 touchdown passes. and 23 interceptions.
Sims also has never made it through a season healthy (only playing in 10 games once). He’s got 1,152 rushing yards and a yards-per-attempt average of 4.2 yards, which includes sacks, as well as 11 touchdown runs. He can add that running element that Thompson doesn’t offer.
Rhule has valued that in the past. So if Sims can make progress as a passer and display that this spring, I think he’ll have a good shot of winning the starting job in the fall. He’ll have a chance to build rapport with the wideouts and if the offense runs smoothly with him, why change things?
I’m not saying that’s what will happen, but if Sims is one of the best players on the practice field this spring, as all the hype suggests he could be, then the decision should be easier in the fall for Nebraska football between Sims and Thompson.