April 6, 2012

Sims not letting injury derail his development at TE

From the moment he stepped onto campus as a member of Michigan State's consensus Top 20 recruiting class in 2009, Dion Sims has seemed destined for stardom.

But a broken scaphoid bone suffered during the season in 2011, and off-the-field issues the previous year, have prevented the 6-foot-5, 280-pounder from Detroit from emerging as the impact performer in Michigan State's pro-style offense.

Michigan State has managed back-to-back 11-win seasons without a significant contribution from Sims as either a pass-catcher or a blocker. But the departure of productive seniors Brian Linthicum and Garrett Celek has created a pressing need at tight end.

"We have four guys working at the position," said offensive coordinator Dan Roushar. "We need somebody to step up and be that guy on a consistent level, 65 to 75 plays a game. You've got to have somebody to go to and that is what we are looking to develop."

Sims wants to be that guy. But he also knows that replacing quality tight ends like Linthicum and Celek will take hard work.

"I feel like I have some big shoes to fill," said Sims. "Brian (Linthicum) and (Garrett) Celek, I learned a lot from those guys. I've got a lot of experience under my belt, so it is just about taking it one day at a time and getting better."

The injury that set him back as a sophomore remains an impediment for Sims.

"I am doing rehab with it right now," said Sims, who had surgery in February after playing much of the Big Ten season with an injured wrist, "to get my motion back and I've got to get my strength back."

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