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The Bullpen: 3 Star QB Antavius Sims Commits to the UTEP Miners is reporting that dual threat JUCO quarterback Antavius Sims, out of Ventura C.C. in Ventura, CA, has committed to the UTEP Miners. Kevin Lustgarden of has also confirmed the commitment.  Rivals rates Sims as a three star prospect overall. 

Sims generated heavy interest  on the recruiting circuit.  According to ($) Sims was strongly recruited by Rutgers. Rivals notes that he was also offered a scholarship by Florida International and several Pac 10 schools, including Washington State and Washington showed heavy interest.    Last September, SBNation Seattle reported that Washington Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian himself flew to Ventura to recruit Sims.  Back in November, (a Rivals Site) reported ($) that the Ole Miss Rebels were interested in Sims as well.

Mike Price has had success recruiting from Ventura C.C. as next years projected starter at right tackle, James Nelson, came from Ventura JC

Watching his highlights (see above), I'm blown away by his raw athleticism.  The Scout article notes that many schools were interested in Sims as an "athlete."  Watching his explosive running skills out of the zone read, it's easy to see why.    Sims is listed at 6'2 by most sites and his weight varies from 205-210.  He played two years at Ventura, so he should have two years of eligibility at UTEP.  He was very productive at Ventura.

From the Ventura County Star:

As a sophomore, Ventura quarterback Antavius Sims finished second in Southern California in total offense (2,960 yards), fourth in scoring (15 touchdowns) and fifth in rushing (1,014 yards). He set school records for single-season and career total offense (4,866 yards). He also finished his two-year career second all-time in career scoring (25 TDs), passing (3,273 yards), TD passes (24), rushing TDs (25) and finished fourth in rushing (1,593 yards).

Also from the VCS:

The list is too long to publish, but Washington, Ole Miss and Rutgers are three of the bigger schools interested in Sims, whose destination will hinge on whether he wants to continue to play quarterback or another position. "Some people are recruiting him as a quarterback, some as an athlete," said Mooshagian. "We'll see what he decides to do."
Sims had a staggering 2,960 yards of total offense and 15 touchdowns last season.  I'm not sure if UTEP recruited him as a quarterback or as an athlete, but the recent signing of a more traditional pocket-passer, Nick Lamaison, makes me think that we might see Sims in the "Wildcat" spot vacated by departing senior James Thomas II.  Judging by his tape, I hope UTEP coaches simply find a way to give him the ball.

This is a huge get for Mike Price and his coaching staff.  Obviously, the recent defections of Jonovan Griffin, Brandon Durant, and others, has taken some of the luster off of a once promising 2011 class.  Price's willingness to scour the junior college ranks for quality players who will help UTEP immediately has gone a long way to salvage the 2011 class.  I know that with Antavius Sims coming to El Paso, Miner fans can now dream of a 1-2 quarterback punch, with him and Nick Lamaison,  that potentially has more raw talent than the Trevor Vittatoe/James Thomas II backfield we enjoyed for so long.

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