Early Years and College Football Career
Ernie Sims grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and attended North Florida Christian High School, where he gained recognition as a linebacker for the school’s football team.
His younger brother, Marcus Sims, was a well-regarded high school running back. Ernie’s high school career earned him an opportunity to play football at Florida State.
Sims played three seasons for the Seminoles, earning Second-Team All-ACC and First-Team All-American honors from ESPN and Sporting News in 2004. As a junior he recorded 72 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two interceptions.
His performance at FSU resulted in him being a first-round draft pick by the Detroit Lions with the ninth-overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft.
As a member of the Lions, Sims was a bright spot during a lowly stretch of seasons. He recorded more than 100 total tackles in each of his first three years in the league, including his rookie season. He also logged four forced fumbles during that period, acting as an everyday member of the starting lineup.
Sims would play one more season in Detroit before being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010 in exchange for tight end Tony Scheffler and a seventh round pick. It was in Philly where he’d make the lone playoff appearance of his career.
After one year with the Eagles, Sims latched on with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent, where he’d play for one season, before finishing out the final two years of his football career in the NFC with the Cowboys. He got an opportunity with the Arizona Cardinals in 2014, but never played in a game with the team before being released.
Ernie Sims Now
Following his career as a professional football player, Sims returned to FSU and earned his degree in social science in 2018.
Later that same year, Sims joined head coach Lane Kiffin’s coaching staff at FAU, where he’d serve as an assistant strength and conditioning intern.
Sims continues to work his way up the ranks as a college football coach, finding a nice career for himself after retiring as a player.