As a fourth-year quarterback, transfer Jeff Sims’ adjustment to Nebraska hasn’t been overly difficult.
Sims said at Tuesday’s press conference that his experience has helped him get acclimated. However, as a Florida native and three-year player at Georgia Tech, there’s one thing he hasn’t quite fully adjusted to yet — the cold.
He said that he’s been learning to embrace it, and stopped wearing long sleeves after the first day of practice. Sims views the weather as something that can help him and the rest of the team grow during the spring.
“[Coaches] just want to see if the team can handle being in tough situations,” he said. “And I think for us, the biggest thing is overcoming challenges. And me, I don’t know about y’all, but I look at the cold as a challenge. So just being out there and fighting through it, that’s something that builds toughness in us and changes our mindsets on how we look at things.”
The 6-foot-4 quarterback entered the program viewed as a potential starter after recording 23 starts at Georgia Tech. There’s a long ways to go before coaches sort out the depth chart, but head coach Matt Rhule has been impressed with Sims so far.
“Jeff brings a dynamic element to the game in that he can throw and run and is really smart and is a great teammate,” Rhule said. “I think the guys all really like him. I think he has natural leadership capabilities, so I’m excited to see what he does … I think Jeff has a ton of potential, just needs reps, needs to get comfortable.”
On a personal level, Sims’ focus since the end of last season has been mastering playbooks and his mechanics. He wants to be consistent, which hasn’t exactly been a feature of his career so far. He’s thrown 30 touchdowns and 23 interceptions as a college quarterback, and one look at his career game log shows a range of highs and lows in his performances.
Now at Nebraska, the dual-threat believes his skillset will work well in offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield’s scheme. Sims praised the coach’s attention to detail. He also had positive opinions on Casey Thompson, the returning starter at quarterback. Thompson isn’t fully practicing at the moment while recovering from injury, but has still been making an impact.
“Casey’s definitely a very helpful guy,” Sims said. “For a guy that’s hurt right now and can’t really do much, he’s here every night watching film, helping out Jack [Woche] and he’s just a helpful guy. You can tell he has that experience and he’s been a leader for a while, because he’s definitely a natural-born leader. His biggest goal is to see everybody at their best. You can definitely tell by the way he frames himself every day.”
Sims also believes in his own leadership capabilities. While there’s room for both to lead, only one will be able to serve as the starting quarterback, assuming there won’t be a two-QB system. The battle between Sims, Thompson and the rest of the position group isn’t on the forefront of the Georgia Tech transfer’s mind, however, as he’ll keep his focus on his own progression.
“You just got to approach it how you approach anything else,” Sims said. “You got to go in there working on yourself. You can’t worry about all the outside noise, anything. Of course there’s going to be competition anywhere, but you just got to go in there and worry about getting yourself better each day. And just hoping that competition brings the best out of you.”