Coming out of high school at Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian,
Ernie Sims was so sought after that Florida State received permission
from Ron Sellers to allow Sims to wear the retired No. 34.
After earning a varsity letter as an eighth-grader and leading his high school
team to four consecutive state titles, Sims went to Florida State and
was a force from his first game. He earned playing time in every game as a
freshman and finished ninth on the team in tackles before cementing his place as
His selection by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 2006 draft was
validation of Sims' place atop the Rivals100 presented by Under
Armour coming out of high school. He returns to the top of the list
as Rivals.com re-ranks the five-star prospects.
From the class of 2002 -- when Rivals.com established the Rivals100 -- to the
class of 2013, there have been 11 states to have double-digit players earn
five-star rankings. This week, it is time to turn back the
clock and put those players in order based on what they did in high school.
None of the players identified as midseason five-stars for the class of 2014 is
considered for this ranking. Each is subject to change through the regular
season and all-star game evaluations.
Florida has had 56 players from the previously completed classes evaluated as
five-star players, but only Sims was the No. 1 overall player in the country and
he will start atop the list of the state's best from high school.
Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell said the collection of
talent is impressive but it is easy to make mistakes in dealing with high school
As is the case with any state with this much talent, there are misses. Farrell
said Antonio Cromartie stands out as a highly ranked player who should
have been given a fifth star.
"He was one of the best natural athletes in the history of high school
football," Farrell said. "Despite being ranked very high at No. 40, we missed on
this one, plain and simple. Even though his college career was cut short, he was
still a first-rounder and he is one of those guys who can make you jump out of
your seat at any moment."