FLORIDA STATE'S ERNIE SIMS TO ENTER NFL DRAFT

FLORIDA STATE'S ERNIE SIMS TO ENTER NFL DRAFT

Tallahassee, Fla. -- Florida State junior linebacker Ernie Sims announced Monday that he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. The Tallahassee native is the second Seminole to declare for the draft, following cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Sims was scheduled to fly to Arizona Monday afternoon to begin workouts for the combine and FSU's pro day.

"First of all, I would like to thank my parents, coaches and teammates for everything they have done for me," said Sims. "Florida State is a great place and I wouldn't trade my three years here for anything. I have mixed feelings because I don't want to leave. I've been here (in Tallahassee) for 21 years, but at the same time I want to move on. It was a tough decision."

Sims was the No. 2 rated underclassmen linebacker behind Penn State's Paul Posluszny according to ESPN.com prior to the Orange Bowl. He finished the 2005 season fourth on the team in total tackles with 72 while starting all 13 games. Sims added 2.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and had a pair of interceptions.

"Ernie is a special young man and a special football player," said linebackers coach Kevin Steele. "We were very fortunate to have him as long as we did. We wish him the very best as he represents the Florida State Seminoles in the National Football League."

Lawrence Timmons, who backed up Sims at strongside linebacker in 2005 will have the inside track at taking over as the starter.

"Everyone knows we have a very talented group of linebackers," said Steele. "This will give someone else the opportunity to be in on the first play of the game."

Sims said he plans on returning to Tallahassee to take classes in order to complete graduation. His major at Florida State is environmental studies.

"I also want to say that I definitely want to come back and get my degree. That is a priority for me. I came in here saying I wanted to be a veterinarian and that is something I am going to stay true to. I will come back hopefully during the offseason."

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Florida State junior linebacker Ernie Sims met with the media Monday afternoon to discuss his…

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