The Northwest Elite Football Camp at Mercer Island is 3 weeks in the rear view mirror now and we are still just scratching the surface of who we saw and who stood out the most. As it is designed to do the NWEFC showcased the top rated guys. It is also designed to allow new comers and lesser known kids a shot to compete with the best.
Jesse Sims of Stevensville, Montana may be from a small town but that is the only small thing about him.
As camp began we made the rounds shooting film and taking notes on the over 700 kids who made the camp. In the very first pod of kids were 3 of the biggest recruits in the entire West. Kaleb McGary of Fife HS (TE-Ol 15 Major Offers), Chase Blakly of Cour d'Alene HS (UW Commit and top rated Idaho Athlete), and Drew Sample of Newport High School (BSU Commit) were battling it out in the Tight End group. Among them taking reps and making amazing catch after amazing catch was Sims who immediately stood out.
"Whoa this kid can play," said one Coach as we worked.
"Who is he," asked another.
I checked the rosters provided by the camp directors.
"That is Jesse Sims of Stevensville High in Montana," I informed. "He is a 2015 prospect and is 6'4" and 230 pounds."
That comment was the beginning of the day that would change Jesse's standing in football world. So commanding was his performance that he won an MVP at Tight End and held his own with the top talent.
Our immediate analysis the day after camp was that he was a surprise and a kid we expected to rise the ranks fast. We were right.
Two days ago Sims was offered by the Oregon State Beavers. So we had to know more and caught up to Sims for an in-depth look into the story behind the offer.
"I live in Stevensville, Montana about 30 miles from Missoula," said Sims. "It's a small town and I go to Stevensville High School. Our team is the Yellow Jackets and we compete on the 1A division in Montana."
We talked at length and he is for sure a quiet kid but the story is a good one. He is a good student, a 3 sport athlete who stands out, and a blue collar kid who comes from a very hard working family. He loves to fish and says he is pretty good with a fly rod. He is smart likable, intense, and relaxed about his future.
Do you know how good you have to be to have an offer from a school like Oregon State when you have not even started your Junior year? Very very good.
But here is the thing. Sims is such a good athlete that he has had full ride offers to play football for Montana and Montana State since he was a Freshmen. And living in a small town and in a far away State like Montana he did not realize that those offers were rare or anything special.
"Coming to the Northwest Elite Camp was for sure an eye opener and I know the OSU coaches who saw me there reacted to that. They watched my film they said after Camp and decided to offer me. I have had a short visit with them, met all the Coaches and had a chance to hear how they use the Tight End. I liked the campus and the entire program. It's a great offer," said Jesse fresh off an MVP performance at the Oregon Camp.
He did a few days at the Boise State camp where he says he did well and liked the event. Then the OSU visit and the Oregon Camp. All of it he took in stride.
So what are they seeing these big schools and why offer him now?
Strength wise he benches 315 and squats 445 which are great numbers for a big kid. His hands are terrific which was obvious at camp where next to the trio of superstars we mentioned he was the man. What we saw in him that really stood out was speed and cat-like agility. Jesse is explosive and clearly an elite athlete in those respects.
So we asked him about his speed and agility.
"I ran a 4.8 40 at Boise State and I have a 4.22 pro agility shuttle," said Jesse calmly.
We then found out this big kid ran a 11.5 100 Meter in 9th grade and the picture is complete. He reminds us of All American Brennan Scarlett from Central Catholic who is now at Cal and he has some traits we saw in All American Colt Lyerla from Hillsboro who is projected to be a 1st Round Draft pick,
That is high praise but this young man who works himself out on a small gym and sprints at the track is a naturally gifted athlete. There are no elite trainers pushing him to the brink of his ability there in Stevensville. Just himself and his desire to get his school paid for and become a Mechanical Engineer. Any college getting this kid is going to take him to the next level.
But there is time for all of that.
Adding him to the Rivals database he revealed that he has letters from schools like Nebraska, Michigan, Cal, Maryland, and that he has an offer from Toledo. All of that and his HUDL highlights have never been made.
Jesse okays Defensive End and Tight End and is planning to add good weight this year. Right now he is lean and at 230 lbs and fast a very serious weapon for any offense. He is not a small town talent. He is a talent of the highest magnitude and it is our great pleasure to break the story on a kid like him from the great state of Montana.
With 4 offers now and these MVP camp appearances the sky seems to be the limit for Jesse Sims who says he is wide open and has no schools of preference. In the end he will be looking for great coaching and a great degree program. Oregon State has once again led the way on a great NW talent by making him the first Pac 12 offer and we recognize their outstanding commitment to the kids of the NW and for attending the NWEFC with a big group of coaches who dug in and worked.
The question on our mind today is "Who will be next".