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ABILENE, Texas - The U.S. Army All-American Bowl continued its selection tour on Tuesday afternoon, honoring another top prospect from the Lone Star State.
Abilene (Texas) running back Herschel Sims has proven himself to be one of the top running backs in the country. Excelling at both carrying the ball and catching it out of the backfield, the 5-foot-10, 190-pound Sims is ranked as the No. 3 all-purpose back and the No. 48 overall prospect in the country.
With his teammates, principals, coaches and many others in the community watching in the fieldhouse, Sims was honored as a 2011 U.S. Army All-American.
Abilene head coach Steve Warren has coached Sims for four years and knows his running back is a special one. He considers the honor one that not only recognizes the accomplishments of Sims but also the entire team.
"It's a real testament not only to the way that he's played but to our program's success," he said. "It's exciting for him, his family and all of our families."
Sims says he has watched the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on TV and has marveled at the talent that has played in it and gone on to hugely successful careers in college and the NFL. He considers it an honor to now be included among that group.
"I watched it this past year and I've known about it and heard about it a lot," Sims said of the game. "I've read up on all the guys that have played in it and it's a real honor. I know there's more to it than just football. That's the most exciting thing. They picked me on my football abilities but also on my character.
"It's an honor and a blessing. Most kids don't get this opportunity so for me to be picked out of no telling how many kids across the country, I'm just honored and overwhelmed."
Sims will play on the West squad in the game. While the roster has only just started to be revealed one player at a time, he is excited about the prospect of playing with several prospects he has gotten to know well through the recruiting process.
"Jaxon Shipley is playing in it," Sims said. "We went to Florida and played in Gridiron Kings together and got to be good friends. I know a couple other players that are going to be in it as well so that's going to be really fun. Just having a chance to play with and against the top players is exciting. In order to be the best, you have to play against the best."
With the game taking part in San Antonio, Sims says he has a sense of pride playing in his home state.
"It means a lot to represent the state of Texas," he said. "We've already played against two Florida teams on our schedule this year so we've had to represent the state then, too. There's probably some guys on the East squad from those teams, so it should be fun to match up with them again. Playing for Texas is a blessing. To me, there's no other state out there like us in football and we're going to get a chance to prove it."
He is committed to Oklahoma State and Sims also feels like he must represent the Cowboys as well.
"Once you commit you have a label on you," Sims said. "I just want to do my best for them. I'm not just representing the Cowboys. I still have my senior year to go and I'm still an (Abilene) Eagle as well. I've got to represent both."
Warren is simply excited to know that the rest of the country will see the player he has come to admire over the years, both on and off the field.
"He's a tremendous player," Warren said. "He's got great character and he's successful for all the right reasons. That's why I'm really excited for him - because he's well-deserving of this."
Sims rushed for 2,260 yards and 32 touchdowns as well as catching 23 passes for 371 yards and four touchdowns in helping lead Abilene to a state championship a year ago. Though battling through injuries this season, he has the Eagles primed for another run at the title.
Sims and the West squad take on the East in the 11th annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The game will be nationally televised on NBC.