ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Myles Sims is already on campus, and has put in a full spring with the Michigan football team.
The 6-foot-3, 173-pound cornerback from Westlake High School in Atlanta is a 4-star signee who brings length and quickness to Michigan’s defensive backfield. His nickname, after all, is “Spider,” in part because of his range and his lengthy reach.
Sims had 17 tackles, 6 pass breakups and 2 interceptions in 2017 at Westlake. He will join a deep defensive backfield at Michigan that includes starting cornerbacks Lavert Hill and David Long, along with Ambry Thomas and Benjamin St. Juste.
Land of 10 caught up with Westlake football coach Kareem Reid to find out what Sims brings to the Wolverines as an early enrollee.
Q: What will Myles contribute to Michigan in the secondary?
Reid: He’s going to bring a lot of length, being 6-foot-3. I think he’s going to bring some athleticism along with that, and a guy who has a high football IQ. He’ll take the coaching that he’s learned, and he’ll be in the right position more times than not.
Q: Did Myles discuss with you why he decided to enroll early at Michigan?
Reid: He’s a high-academic kid, and he wanted to get a jump on school, and wants to go into the Ross School [of Business]. Coming in early to Michigan would also help him get a jump on football in the fall.
Q: How did he get the nickname Spider? Was it because of his length?
Reid: One of his trainers gave him that nickname, because he was a really long, wide guy. “Like a spider,” the trainer said.
Q: When you first met Myles, what stood out about him as a person?
Reid: When I got the job here at Westlake in 2016, he was heading into his junior year. Obviously, the physical tools he was blessed with stood out, especially when you saw a guy who is 6-foot-3 and playing defensive back. That’s rare. He’s an intelligent kid, too, and I knew he’d play smart and not make mistakes on the football field.
Q: When you first worked with him as a football player, what also stood out?
Reid: He was competitive. He had really good ball skills. He had the athleticism to be a top corner, in the country. Myles just had a skill set that was going to be coveted by a lot of schools.
Q: How did Myles develop that skill set?
Reid: A lot of that was God-given. He didn’t play a lot of offense but when the ball was in the air and it was a 50-50 ball, nine out of 10 times he’d come down with it. His senior year, people didn’t throw it in his direction.
Q: Is there a signature Myles Sims moment that you can think of? A play in a game, or something that happened in a classroom?
Reid: There was a play he made against Cartersville [Ga.], his junior year. Trevor Lawrence, who was the No. 1 quarterback in the 2018 class, he took a shot deep on us. Spider just climbed the ladder, high-pointed it and picked it off. Trevor Lawrence hadn’t been picked off in two years, and I can still see him making that play. That’s a moment I’ll remember.
Q: Did Michigan’s coaches discuss with you what they liked about Myles?
Reid: They liked him for all the reasons I stated before. They play a lot of man coverage and a lot of press-man coverage, and they thought he was an ideal fit for their scheme.
Q: Have you talked to Myles recently about his first semester at Michigan? How is that for him?
Reid: He came back to Atlanta a couple weeks ago and he’s enjoying it. He has acclimated pretty well. So far, so good.
Q: What do you think will help Myles be successful at the college level?
Reid: As a football player, he needs to continue to add weight and strength. In college, he’ll need to continue to be the kid he is and not change. He takes academics very seriously and he’s a good student. Continuing that trend will equal more success for him.