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With the 69th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select RB Charles Sims from the University of West Virginia.
Was a three-star recruit from Houston who stayed home to play for the Cougars. The true freshman earned the Conference USA Freshman of the Year Award after rushing 132 times for 698 yards (5.3-yard average) and nine touchdowns to lead the squad in yards and touchdowns. Played in all 14 games (nine starts) and caught 70 passes for 759 yards (10.8) and one touchdown -- fourth-leading receiver in Cougars' high-octane offense. Sat out the '10 season after being ruled ineligible by the NCAA but was allowed to redshirt. Returned to lead the team in rushing in '11, producing 110-821-9 (7.5) on the ground and contributing 51-575-4 (11.3) as a receiver in 13 games (nine starts). Did not play against North Texas. Was named the team MVP in '12 after tallying a team-high 142-851-11 (6.0) rushing and 37-373-3 (10.1) receiving in only nine starts. Dealt with leg injuries all year, missing the Tulsa and Tulane games (sprained right ankle) and UCLA (groin) in addition to sitting out the second half of three games. Graduated in May of '13 with a health education degree and asked to be released from his scholarship but UH put a number of restrictions on his transfer -- no Texas schools, no American Athletic Conference teams and no one on their '13 schedule. Chose West Virginia over California and was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year after racking up a team-high 208-1095-11 (5.7) on the ground and tied for team lead in receptions with 45-401-3 (8.9) in 12 starts. Ranked second in the conference with 1,549 all-purpose yards.
BOTTOM LINE: Athletic, competitive, tough, upright slasher who is an asset as a receiver -- hands rate among the best on a RB in recent years. Cannot project as a bellcow, but offers playmaking ability as part of a tandem in a zone scheme. Speed and durability could determine ultimate draft value.
Click below to hear what Sims told the Tampa Bay media, minutes after being selected in the third round by the Bucs: