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Monday, January 27, 2014
Top 25 players in the Big 12: No. 13

By Jake Trotter

With signing day quickly approaching, it’s time to close the chapter on the 2013 season. We’re counting down the top 25 players in the Big 12 in 2013 over the next few days with a list collaboratively selected by Jake Trotter, Brandon Chatmon and Max Olson. We’re down to the No. 13 player in the Big 12.

No. 13: Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia

Charles Sims
West Virginia tailback Charles Sims rushed for 1,095 yards and 11 touchdowns and also caught 45 passes.
Previous ranking: Unranked in the blog’s preseason list of the Big 12’s top 25 players.

Making the case for Sims: Sims’ NFL draft stock reportedly rose during last week’s Senior Bowl practices. Those who watched him carry the West Virginia offense in his one season in Morgantown shouldn’t be surprised.

Sims, who transferred in from Houston for his final season, didn’t always have a lot of help around him. He played with three different quarterbacks, and none was consistent enough to seriously threaten defenses with the pass. As a result, opposing defenses keyed on Sims all season. Sometimes they still couldn’t stop him.

Sims finished third in the Big 12 in rushing and led all league running backs in receiving. He finished with at least 100 yards rushing/receiving in seven of West Virginia’s final eight games. And he ranked second in the Big 12 in all-purpose yards, trailing only Kansas State receiver/returner Tyler Lockett.

The Mountaineers didn’t make a bowl game, but they at least had a chance because of Sims. On Nov. 2, in his best game of the season, Sims rushed for 154 yards to lead West Virginia to an overtime victory at TCU, putting the Mountaineers on the brink of reaching bowl eligibility.

The following week, Sims totaled three touchdowns. But that wasn’t enough as Texas rallied to defeat West Virginia 47-40 in overtime, and the Mountaineers lost their next two games to miss out on a bowl.

The rest of the list: