Keith Sims hard work and determination made him one of the top offensive lineman in
A native of
Those plans changed, however, when an inconsistent offense forced the ISU coaches to play Sims, who helped the Cyclones defeat
The 1989 season was a breakout year for Sims and the Cyclones. Head coach Jim Walden was in his third season with the Cyclones and Sims was considered one of the top senior lineman in the nation. Teaming alongside All-American lineman Gene Williams, Sims and company helped the Cyclones compile a 6-5 record, including a 4-3 mark vs. Big Eight competition, their first above-.500 record in league play since 1978. ISU’s offense was one of the best in school history, averaging 427.9 yards of total offense, the second-best total in ISU history. The Cyclones also broke the school record for touchdowns with 30. Sims toughness on the line helped All-American Blaise Bryant rush for 1,516 yards, the fourth-best rushing total nationally that season. ISU’s offensive prowess earned Sims first-team all-Big Eight honors, honorable mention All-America accolades and invitations to the East-West Shrine Bowl and Blue-Gray Classic.
Sims earned his degree in industrial education and technology in 1990 and then targeted the NFL as his next adventure. The pro scouts raved about Sims’ ability and intelligence and were penciling him in as one of the highest offensive lineman draft picks. He was selected in the second round, the 39th pick overall, by the Miami Dolphins in the 1990 NFL Draft, the third-highest draft choice for a Cyclone in school history.
Sims immediately fit right in with Dolphins, earning the starting nod at left guard in his rookie season in 1990. Sims started alongside first-round pick and left tackle Richmond Webb and became the first Dolphin rookie draft choices to start on opening day on offense in franchise history. Sims earned all-rookie honors in his first season in