Following debut, Jeff Sims was first player to arrive at practice Sunday

Credit: Georgia Tech Athletics

Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins praises the work ethic of freshman quarterback Jeff Sims following season opening win at Florida State.

Credit: Georgia Tech Athletics

After his standout debut Saturday, Georgia Tech freshman quarterback Jeff Sims did something that made coach Geoff Collins take notice the following day. After beating Florida State, the team returned from Tallahassee, Fla., about 3:30 a.m., Collins said, and had meetings followed by practice later Sunday.

Sims was the first player to arrive for both, Collins said during his weekly videoconference Tuesday.

“For him to understand the moment and understand that, even though he’s getting all these accolades and all this notoriety at such a young age, to still be in the moment, and to still understand that he’s got to work, and he’s got to put forth the effort, and he’s got to put himself in a position as a leader at such a young age, I think that’s special,” Collins said.

Against the Seminoles, Sims became the first Tech freshman quarterback since 2003 to start a season opener. It’s possible that Sims and Reggie Ball are, in fact, the only two to accomplish that feat in team history. In the game, Sims completed 24 of 35 passes for 277 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and also led Tech in rushing with 64 yards on 13 carries. On Monday, he was named ACC rookie of the week for his play.

Offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude praised Sims' poise, particularly after throwing two interceptions in the first half and facing a team that he had been committed to before ultimately signing with Tech.

“I think the biggest testament of how he played was that, if you just put the game on and you were just watching it and you were just a casual fan, you would have never known that he was freshmen making the first start of his college career,” Patenaude said.