The rest of the country will get an opportunity to see what West Virginia fans already know – Charles Sims and Will Clarke are really good football players.
Sims and Clarke will be competing for the North squad in today’s Reese’s Senior Bowl taking place in Mobile, Ala., and being televised nationally on the NFL Network.
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.
Sims came to West Virginia as a senior transfer from Houston looking to raise his profile in Dana Holgorsen’s high-flying offensive system, much the way Holgorsen developed Tavon Austin into a top NFL draft pick a year ago.
Well, after a year with Holgorsen Sims could be heading down a similar path after running for 1,095 yards and 11 TDs and also sharing the team lead with 45 catches for 401 yards and three scores. Holgorsen’s ability to get the ball to Sims in a variety of ways makes him a valuable commodity in this year’s draft – some projecting him as high as a second or third round pick later this spring.
Sims’ best game was a 24-carry, 154-yard performance at TCU that also included three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown. In his final performance as a Mountaineer, he ran for 149 yards and scored two touchdowns against Iowa State.
In a pro game today that emphasizes lots of passing and versatility from its running backs, Sims seemingly fits the bill with his size (6-feet, 213 pounds), speed (sub-4.5) and superior ball skills.
Clarke, meanwhile, was impressive in last week’s East-West Shrine Game, producing a sack and performing well in workouts during the week leading up to the game. The Pittsburgh resident was able to parlay that performance into a late invitation to this weekend’s top collegiate showcase in Mobile.
In 2013, Clarke ranked second in the Big 12 in tackles for losses with 17, including six sacks during his senior year. In 41 career games, Clarke produced 111 tackles, 29 tackles for losses and 9 ½ sacks. Clarke’s size (6-feet-6, 273) and wingspan make him an intriguing prospect.
Sims and Clark make it 48 players that West Virginia has sent to the Senior Bowl dating back to 1954, and the eighth time it has sent multiple players to the game since 1999.
Both players are also expected to get invitations to this year’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis as well.
The Combine will take place Feb. 22-25 this year.