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Nebraska Spring Breakdown: Jeff Sims With The Cornhuskers

Jeff Sims

With Matt Rhule and his staff pushing hard for Dylan Raiola’s services, quarterbacks seem to be a key part of Nebraska’s operation going forward. On Tuesday, we got a glimpse into Nebraska’s current quarterback competition through the media’s interview with transfer quarterback Jeff Sims. But can he back up his words by earning the starting nod this season?

A Connection Between Coaches

As longtime friends in the coaching world,  both Geoff Collins and  Matt Rhule have starred in the spotlight together. Starting at Albright College in Pennsylvania, the two were first paired up when Collins took the job as defensive coordinator with Rhule serving him as the linebackers coach. In addition to this, the two coaches teamed up once again at Western Carolina. But their friendship wouldn’t stop there. In fact, it would only intensify. This is because both men loved Jeff Sims and his play at Georgia Tech. Because of this mutual connection between them, he knew that he would be in good hands at  Nebraska. But if he had to regret one thing about his new destination, he is clear that he hates the cold.

Taking Time To Learn the Offense

It is no secret that Sims feels a little uneasy in the Cornhusker’s offense. Before transferring to Lincoln, he spent three years at Georgia Tech where he threw 41 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. Now under Rhule, he has to learn.  This means a new playbook, offense, and terms. But the head coach says this hasn’t really stopped him as “He can throw and run and is really smart,” Rhule said. Furthermore, he is a good fit in the locker room as “Guys all really like him because of his natural leadership capabilities.” But for all of his potential on the field, Sims is struggling to find comfort in the new offense. This can be chalked up to Spring jitters, but it is an interesting storyline to keep an eye into August and in the spring game.

What He Likes About It

Just because Sims is struggling to learn Nebraska’s offense doesn’t mean he doesn’t like it. In fact, he said it excites him because he gets to be surrounded by competition. “The running backs are very good and the o-line is good at run blocking,” he said last week. In the passing game, he sees an explosive group of wideouts. Because of this attitude, Sims says they are “Willing to go out and get the ball” at any time for him. Another aspect he likes about the new system is offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield. Specifically, what stands out to him is his ability to be an effective teacher.   When it comes to the offense, Satterfield is usually busy trying to install concepts or plays. But there is one key aspect that stands out to him about Satterfield’s coaching. He isn’t afraid to demand players to play exactly how he wants them to. While this strategy seems to produce results, only the spring game and the season can provide a fair assessment.

How He Handles Competition

As a new player for the Cornhuskers, Sims knows there are several players competing for the starting quarterback job.  Whether it is Casey Thompson, Logan Smothers or Chubba Purdy, he knows that he has his work cut out for him if he wants to become Nebraska’s leading quarterback.  But for right now, the Florida native is taking the competition one day at a time.  But how does he shift himself into this persona?  According to Sims, it starts with envisioning himself,  “Getting better each day” at practice. Because of this attitude, he hopes that it will put him in a better position compared to other quarterbacks on Nebraska’s roster.

A Natural Born Leader in Casey Thompson

As the two most experienced quarterbacks on Nebraska’s roster thus far, both Thompson and Sims have proven themselves as the top competitors for the Cornhuskers’ signal caller position. While they both are focusing on improving their craft, Sims is impressed with Thompson’s ability to lead. Not only does he want other players to succeed, but he also backs his words up by allowing them to benefit from the reps that he takes in practice.  From his perspective, this leadership was shown when he decided to help Sims transition from Georgia Tech. Furthermore, this attitude also extends to the film room. This was demonstrated through his commitment to helping other quarterbacks focus on their craft every night.  Because of these two scenarios, it has led Sims to be comfortable in his presence at practice. But can he go to the next step and surpass him?

Read more about Casey Thompson here:


Jeff Sims

Photo courtesy: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


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