This was never more true than in the case of Tallahassee’s own Ernie Sims, a retired NFL Linebacker.

ernie sims

Ernie grew up in our town playing football and graduating from North Florida Christian where his dedication and determination earned him a varsity letter when he was only in the 8th grade!

He led the team to 4 state championships from '98-'01. A USA Today All-American honor, Sims was ranked as the No. 1 inside linebacker in his class and the No. 1 prospect overall going into college recruiting.

Throughout his three years at FSU, Sims started in just about every game of each season, aiding in some fantastic victories against hard-hitting teams
before announcing his decision to forego his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

Sims was selected as the ninth overall pick in 2006 by the Detroit Lions. After impressing his teammates and coaches his rookie year, Sims was named one of five team captains for the 2007 season.

Later in his professional career he also played for the Eagles, Colts, Cowboys and Cardinals before retiring in 2014.

In 2008, Sims began giving back to his community by starting the “Ernie Sims Big HITS Foundation” which provides necessary resources and tools to empower and strengthen youth and families.

Big HITS is designed to impact at-risk youth and young adults by exposing them to positive opportunities to be successful and responsible adults.

This July 8th & 9th marks the 8th Annual Ernie Sims Charity Weekend kicking off with a Youth Football and Cheer Camp at Springsax Park the morning of Friday, June 8, followed by the HITS Flag Football Game commencing at 6p at Leon High School.

The fun continues Saturday morning with the Ernie Sims Track & Field Invitational, and wraps up with the
 Community Champions Ceremony at the downtown Doubletree Hotel.

Foundation awards and college scholarships are presented to student athletes for their outstanding
 performance in the classroom and on the field. What a wonderful way to give back to the community! Thanks, Ernie!