8 Days to Kansas Football: Video Game Star Readers’ Choice: Steven Sims and Fish Smithson

The return of the NCAA Football video game is slated for next summer, and it gives us the perfect opportunity to shine a light on some players who didn’t get a chance to appear on the series during its hiatus.

Thanks to a rating system that includes individualized assessments from college players that we discussed on the Rock Chalk podcast, we are able to correct that oversight. This rating combines their baseline talent level with their actual college output to provide an overall picture of their performance.

A reminder that our Video Game All-Stars series will look at recent Kansas players who played well at Kansas but never had the opportunity to be caught with a virtual version of themselves. We’ll take a look back at their careers and include a projection of what their overall rating would have been had the games existed.

The season is right around the corner, and that means we’re running out of time to highlight some of the best recent players to wear red and blue at Memorial Stadium. And before we wrap up, I wanted to make sure we had a chance to watch some of your favorites that may not have made my cut. We have two today that have been requested by several readers, and they are said to be WR Steven Sims and S Fish Smithson.

With two players to cover, we’ll do a quick rundown of those two players before we get into the notes.

Other gamer spotlights in this series:

Daniel Sage
mike lee
Joe Dinen
André Parchment
pooka williams
Hasan Defense
Dorance Armstrong
Bryce Torneden
Hakeem Adéniji

Introducing Steven Sims

Recruitment Rankings

Steven Sims Jr. was a 5’10”, 176 lb 3-star freshman from Fort Bend Travis High School in Richmond, TX. He was not a hot recruit, as the Jayhawks were his only Power 5 offer, but we initially expected him to have quality depth with a big advantage due to his speed. He was signed to the 2015 recruiting class after a recruiting led by wide receivers coach Klint Kubiak.

Production in Kansas

Season Receptions yards Medium affected





















Sim’s best season arguably came in 2016, when he was the focal point of the passing game but also unknown enough to avoid the massive attention he received in his final two seasons. However, his junior year was also very productive, with only slightly less overall yardage on far fewer takes.

Either way, Sims was a reliable receiver in his time at Lawrence, but the lack of consistent help in that position prevented him from really showing what he was capable of.

best game

There’s really only one game that stands out here, and with two players to watch today, I’m going to limit it to just one game. As I mentioned above, the lack of consistent help at the wide receiver position made it difficult for him to consistently have huge breakout plays. Also, when he had big games, he was very likely to be the primary performing option, and he wasn’t really enough to coach the Jayhawks to victory on his own. His best game is a perfect example:

October 28, 2017: 30-20 loss to Kansas State

Stat line: 9 receptions for 233 yards (25.9 average), 1 touchdown.

The Sims had a fantastic game, but the only other offensive weapon in that game was Tyler Patrick, who totaled 72 yards on 3 receptions. Other than that, the game was characterized by offensive errors that ended practices and led directly to Kansas State points. The defense kind of kept this one close, but a kickoff return for a touchdown to take the lead immediately after Kansas opened the scoring set the tone and the team couldn’t catch up. its delay.

After Kansas

Sims was not selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, but signed with Washington as an undrafted free agent. He came through camp and stayed all season, finishing 2019 with 34 receptions for 310 yards and 4 touchdowns.

2020 saw him get an expanded role out of camp, but an injury put him on IR after week three. He returned in time to play 12 regular season games and caught the lone touchdown pass in Washington’s Wild Card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He was released ahead of the 2021 season and has since signed a reserve contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the upcoming season.

Introducing Fish Smithson

Recruitment Rankings

Anthony “Fish” Smithson was a 5-11,185-pound, 3-star rookie who transferred to Kansas from Hartnell College as part of the Class of 2014. He first played cornerback in college, but his Transitioning to safety helped him play a role in a Kansas defense that was paper-thin at defensive backs. Kansas was his only offer and his recruiting was led by Dave Campo.

Production in Kansas

Season Total tackles Solo Tackles Passes defended Bags Forced Fumbles interceptions















It’s hard to pick one of his two seasons as the best as they each showed a different side of the game he played. He racked up significantly more tackles in his first season, but his ball skills improved noticeably in his final season, which was reflected in the increase in interceptions.

Smithson earned All-Big 12 honors in his two seasons, being named to the 2nd team in 2015 and 1st team in 2016.

best game

His best game is probably a no-brainer for most Kansas fans. While not the highest tackle total or longest interception return, his impact in this match was huge and led to the most memorable game of David Beaty’s tenure.

November 19, 2016: 24-21 OT Win vs. Texas

Stat line: 12 tackles, 10 solo tackles, 1 interception.

Smithson had the first interception in a series of turnovers at Texas, which allowed the Jayhawks to enter halftime with a 10-7 lead.

Although Smithson didn’t have another huge play like this in the second half, he teamed up with fellow safety Mike Lee to absolutely cover receivers and prevent Texas from finding big plays to build momentum. .

After Kansas

Smithson went undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, but signed with Washington as an undrafted free agent before spending most of the season on the practice squad. He was elevated to the active roster for just one game to end the season, and was waived in the final round of roster cuts ahead of the 2018 season.

He spent time on the practice squad with multiple teams for the 2018 season, but ultimately saw his career end after going to injured reserve with the Baltimore Ravens ahead of the 2019 season.

Video game rankings

steven sims

Base rating: 74
Production Bonus: 11
Total score: 85

The Sims’ low base rating wasn’t exactly the worst player in this series, but the struggles he had with a lack of help setting up dominating performances prevented him from truly excelling in the production category. However, it is still considered a worthy inclusion.

Smithson fish

Base Rating: 70
Production Bonus: 10
Total score: 80

The ratings aren’t quite as kind to Smithson, but this production number looks a whole lot better considering he’s only had two seasons to compile this production. He was a solid option for the Jayhawks who helped them through some tough times, but unfortunately that won’t earn him much individual recognition.

Although the ratings we have are not broken down into individual attributes that you would typically see in a game like the Madden series, it is possible to guess which attributes would be highest. For Sims, I think I’d give Speed ​​and Agility as his highest marks, while Smithson would probably get Strength and Awareness as his highest.

A reminder that our video game rankings are provided by CFB Winning Edge, which is an independent outlet focused on college football analysis that has developed rankings of teams, players and coaches based on a wide range current and historical data.

Patreon fans have access to their FBS team profiles, which include the ratings of more than 11,000 individual players across all 131 FBS teams, as well as the ratings of each head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator, and strength calendar measures. In addition to stats, scouting data, injury reports, and player movement information, they also offer three sets of projected point spreads for each FBS game based on separate projection models, as well as projected earnings totals.

You can find more information on what they offer by heading to their Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/CFBWinningEdge

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