July 26, 2005
As the 2005 Husky fall football camp nears, Husky players are winding down their off-season summer workouts with a new mindset. Gohuskies.com was able to sit down with Husky fullback James Sims, who will be entering his senior year at Washington, to find out what he has been up to this summer.
Gohuskies.com: How has your summer been going so far?
James Sims, Jr.: It's been really productive so far. We're almost done with summer workouts and I'm excited to go home for a week and get my mind ready for the season.
GH: What have you been doing with your time away from football?
JS: Well, I've been mostly working in the Athletic Communications office during the day. I'm in charge of gathering video footage of the different athletic facilities and putting them together for the new Husky's re-designed website that will be re-launching in August. Between that and working out, a few of my teammates and I try to find time for community service by visiting the children's hospital. It's been really fun.
GH: What would you rather do: lay out a guy on a lead block, or rush up the gut for a touchdown?
JS: I would definitely want to rush for a touchdown rather than lay out someone on the lead block. Fullbacks get no love! I haven't scored a touchdown since high school. I miss it. I can't wait to score this season.
GH: You will be splitting your time on the field playing fullback, tailback, and special teams. Are you looking forward to playing the field through different positions?
JS: I'm very exited to play more tailback this season. Fullback is great, but I honestly feel more like a tailback rather than a fullback. Special teams are also very fun. I'm lucky enough to be on all of the big four: kickoff, kickoff return, punt, and punt return.
GH: What were your first impressions on new head coach Tyrone Willingham?
JS: I honestly believe that Coach Willingham is exactly what our program needs. I agree with everything he has said and what he believes in. It's only taken a few months and I believe that he is one of the most important people I have ever met.
GH: Have you noticed a new attitude amongst your teammates towards the new coaching staff, program, and team cohesion, after last year's season?
JS: Yes. Everything is completely different in relation to the attitude of the team and our relationships toward each other. Everyone decided to spend the entire summer here in Seattle and work together. We have tried to not only better our relationship as teammates but as friends, and to do that off the field as well. We've planned team functions every month so that we all can get together and do different things such as eating, bowling, eating, go to amusement parks, eating, community service, eating. You know fun things.
GH: Have you had a change in attitude yourself?
JS: I've tried to keep the same attitude I've had about everything in my life since high school. The other seniors and myself have all felt that our team needed an attitude adjustment. That's where Coach Willingham comes in. He was able to identify that as well and begin to address that.
GH: What are you most looking forward to this upcoming season?
JS: I'm most exited about getting the bad taste out of all our mouths after last year. I'm looking forward to taking the steps needed to put Washington football back where it was when I was a freshman.
GH: How does it feel to step into the leadership position as a senior on the team?
JS: I'm looking forward to being a leader on this team. I feel we have the opportunity to surprise the nation this season. The seniors feel that it's an obligation to bring the University of Washington at least a winning season. We are the only class here that remembers what it's like to be on a winning team. We have to bring that back--that belief for the team.
GH: What are your plans after you graduate?
JS: I never thought I would say this but I'm going to train for the NFL Draft. I'm gonna try it and see if I can make it to the next level. After switching positions, that goal has become a lot more realistic. If that doesn't work out, I plan to go to Los Angeles and work with a good friend in film and television producing. I want to make movies...good ones.
GH: What are your goals for the upcoming season?
JS: Well, first and foremost, I have to help bring UW a winning season. I plan on doing my part by trying to be the best at whatever position they have me play this season. If it's fullback, I'm going to block my butt off. If its tailback, I'm going to run harder, faster, and tougher than anyone.
GH: After all is said and done, do you believe you will be able to say that you accomplished everything you said you would accomplish when you first stepped foot on the UW campus?
JS: That honestly depends on this season. If the season doesn't go well, then I haven't completely accomplished the goals I've set for myself. But I have to say...I always meet my goals.