West Virginia has an excellent recent history with running backs. Steve Slaton, Noel Devine, Tavon Austin (for one memorable game, against the Sooners). Will Houston U. transfer Charles Sims be the latest in that line?
“We’re extremely fortunate to have his services for one year,” said Mountaineer coach Dana Holgorsen. “He’s a great kid. He’s a tremendous football player. I was fortunate to be able to be involved with recruiting him when I was at Houston, and I had him for the first year there in 2009. That was probably his best year statistically, what was his first year.”
Sims graduated from Houston, thus he was eligible to transfer and play immediately.
“I know he’s been nicked up a little bit here the last couple of years,” Holgorsen said. “I didn’t promise him anything. He knows what I’m all about. He knows how I coach. He knows what our offense is about. So we need some playmakers on offense, after losing, I think, 90 percent of our production last year or whatever that crazy number is.”
Sims rushed for 2,350 yards in three Houston seasons (2009, 2011-12) on 384 carries.
“He knew he’d be able to come in and fit in and get an opportunity to play in the Big 12,” Holgorsen said. “That was his motive. He loves the University of Houston. He got his degree from there. He’ll be a Cougar for life, but he wanted to be able to play in the Big 12 to be able to increase his draft stock, which we’ll put him in position to be able to get that done.”
It’s not like West Virginia’s cupboard is bare. The Mountaineers return Andrew Buie, who rushed for 207 yards against Texas last season. Dustin Garrison was a starter as a freshman in 2011, when he rushed for 742 yards. And Dreamius Smith was a sough-after junior-college recruit.
“So we’ve got capable guys, as deep there as we’ve ever been, that’s for certain,” Holgorsen said. “It’s probably a little bit more important up front, if you want to establish the run game, you’d better have an O-line that’s able to get that done, and I think we’ve got some quality guys up front.”