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January 9, 2006

Ernie Sims to enter NFL draft

Ernie Sims didn't surprise anybody with his announcement today that he was headed to the pros.

In front of his mother and father, three members of the Seminole coaching staff and a couple dozen members of the media the junior linebacker made it official that he was leaving Florida State to play in the NFL.

"I really feel like I need to go to the next level," Sims said. "It's a dream I wanted ever since I was a little kid. I think that's everybody's dream. I think I'm ready for that challenge."

The hard-hitting linebacker cited the threat of future injury as a primary reason for his decision to forego his senior season. Even though his football days at FSU are over, Sims says he will be back on campus in the near future to finish some other business.

"I definitely want to come back and get my degree," he said. "That's a priority for me. I came here and said I want to be a veterinarian and that's one thing I'm going to stay true to. I'm going to definitely come back during the off-season and continue to work on my degree."

Sims recently received a paperwork back from an NFL committee that projected he would be drafted in the early second round. However, with his athleticism and ability to test out well he still hopes to crack the first round of the April draft.

"I'm going out to Arizona (to train) and am going to work my behind off to get to the right weight and get the right speed," said Sims, who hopes to weigh in at 226 to 227 pounds by Pro Day. "If I get to where I know I can get to I'm pretty sure I'll break records."

Sims finished his junior season with 72 tackles (10 for loss) and 2.5 quarterback sacks.

Fellow junior Antonio Cromartie has already declared for the NFL draft. Junior running back Lorenzo Booker has also indicated the possibility of leaving early for the NFL but has yet to announce a decision. January 15th is the last day for underclassmen to declare.

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