Perhaps the top prospect in Virginia in 2010 opens his junior season tonight. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder leads a very talented and highly rated Oscar Smith team that is currently ranked No. 11 in the country by Rivals.com.
"We open up the season on Friday against Booker T. Washington," rising junior quarterback Phillip Sims said. "I expect us to be as good as we usually are. We have a lot of talent on defense and offensively we lost a few receivers, we'll get people to step in. We have a whole lot of talent returning and should be just as good or better."
Sims lost three Division I receivers in Kerry Boykins, Todd Harrelson and Jamal Wilson from a year ago. How does he go about dealing with that?
"It can be difficult at times," he said. "I'm used to having certain people and now I look over there and there are three new faces. I do have Tim Smith back. I'm feeling out the rest of my receivers. I do think playing with such good receivers last year helped me understand and allows me to help the new guys this season. Last year they were helping me, now I'm helping the receivers."
Sims has seen an improvement in his ability as the season approaches.
"I'm making everything happen quicker, I'm seeing things faster and feel stronger," he said. "I think that is helping me throw the ball more accurately and I have a little more zip on everything. I'm making the wide receiver's job easier."
Recruiting officially kicks off for Sims on Monday, September 1st. The first day rising juniors can receive offers. Sims believes a number of schools could pull the trigger very soon.
"My coaches have told me about 20 schools are talking about offering," he said. "I've heard Tennessee, Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, UCLA and Oklahoma could be some of those. Of course, I don't know who and when until it all happens.
"All of this has come fast. Two years ago I was a freshman and next year I'll be a senior. Right now my focus is my team and winning a state championship. Recruiting is my last priority."
That doesn't mean Sims won't take visits this fall. He plans to make his way to at least one school this season.
"I'm going to go down to Georgia for the Tennessee game on October 11th. If anything else pops up I may visit other schools too."
As recruiting begins to heat up, does Sims like anybody?
"I grew up a fan of Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, UCLA, Oklahoma and schools like that," he said. "It's more about offenses that fit my style than the school itself.
"Right now I'm giving everybody a thought. I don't have a leader. It's an open field."