Jeff Sims is the best reason to believe Georgia Tech can be better

There is a lot of work to do. Tech replaces just about every offensive starter starting in 2021, including star running back Jahmyr Gibbs. Lots of new players in the roster aren’t necessarily a bad thing for the Jackets. They ranked second-to-last among ACC teams in scoring, with 24 points per game. Tech’s four most notable games against FBS opponents included three the Sims started and finished and another in which he came off the bench to rush for three touchdowns and throw another.

Sims played its first two seasons under coordinator Dave Patenaude. Tech didn’t have a dedicated coach for his position. For Year 3, Collins replaced Patenaude with Chip Long and hired Chris Weinke to coach the quarterbacks. Long called the plays for some good teams at Notre Dame. Weinke won a Heisman Trophy and a national championship at FSU before coaching QBs for two seasons with the Rams and two at Tennessee.

Says Sims: “They push me every day. I love it. Coach Weinke, he’s tough on me. He’s a great trainer. He’s a great guy. His biggest thing when he got here was to build a relationship with us before he started training us hard. So when he tears us apart, we know he cares, and that’s coming from a good place.

Sims is a good quarterback for Long and Weinke. Tech has added two transfer quarterbacks for this season, but that’s for depth. Sims was always the starter when he was healthy, and he’s still the guy now. Sims is quite old now that Tech is his team.

Sims said that’s a point Weinke made.

“He definitely pushed me to another level in my leadership, to go out there and raise his voice and get the guys going and operating (the offense) and making sure everyone is good,” said Sims.

The Sims no longer have Gibbs in the backfield. This loss cannot be minimized. Collins has replenished the running back position well with transfers, but Gibbs is the highest-ranked rookie signed by Collins. He lived up to the billing before moving to Alabama after last season.

Sims is Collins’ second best rookie. It’s not fair to say that he failed to live up to expectations when he only played 18 games. But Sims is so talented that everyone is looking for more.

“I think we can all agree that he’s not your average-looking quarterback,” senior wide receiver Malachi Carter said. ” He is very talented. And it’s not just her appearance. The man can play. I saw so much growth in him.

The Sims had a productive freshman season: 1,881 passing yards on 257 attempts, 492 rushing yards, 19 total touchdowns, 13 interceptions. These figures are reinforced by the circumstances. Jackets weren’t far off the triple option yet, and the pandemic cost The Sims valuable development time this summer. He still became the first freshman to pitch a debut game for Tech since Reggie Ball in 2003.

Sims showed why he got so lucky with his game-winning performance at FSU, which once secured his commitment. He rallied Tech to victory over Louisville in October by running and throwing for second-half touchdowns. Sims had three touchdowns in a win over Duke. Those are Tech’s only wins of the season.

Tech’s chances of improving in 2021 took a hit when Sims injured his shoulder in the first half of the opener and didn’t return. Maybe the Jackets would have beaten Northern Illinois if that hadn’t happened. The Sims missed the next two games. When Sims returned, he once again showed why he made a difference for Tech.

The Sims came off the bench to beat No. 20 North Carolina with three rushing touchdowns and one passing. The following week, Sims passed for 359 yards on 33 attempts in a loss to Pitt. The Sims followed that up by saving the day at Duke with a game-winning touchdown in the final minute. Then the Sims totaled 365 yards at Virginia, another loss.

The good race did not last. In the next two games, Sims’ weaknesses — inaccurate passing and struggling to throw the ball — got the better of his game. I’m not kicking Sims for that. He was a young QB behind a thin offensive line doing what he could to lift the Jackets.

Sims said his injuries were “minor,” but I suspect he’s just trying not to make excuses. The Jackets shut it down for the final three games of the season. Sims is healthy now and he has two new trainers who he says are helping him. The jackets may be lacking in several areas, but they are fixed at the quarterback.

Outside expectations are low for technology in 2022. But so was that September day in Tallahassee two years ago. Sims then showed he was good enough to change Tech’s outlook. Sims can do the same for Tech with a Star Ride this season.

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