Hooks’ Billy Sims Shared the Spotlight With ‘The Tyler Rose’
For East Texans not from Tyler, the name Billy Sims resonates just as strongly as Earl Campbell.
Sims, like Campbell, got his start in East Texas in the tiny town of Hooks after moving there from St. Louis just before high school.
And just like “The Tyler Rose,” Sims’ rushing prowess echoed throughout the entire state of Texas during his prep career. He still holds the state record for the most consecutive 100-yard rushing games with 38 from 1972-74.
After high school, Sims left for the University of Oklahoma, where injuries kept him hidden from the national spotlight his freshman and sophomore seasons.
That all changed in 1978, when Sims rewrote the OU record books and became a household name a year after Campbell was awarded the Heisman Trophy for the University of Texas.
Sims ran for 1,762 yards and totaled 1,896 yards of offense as a junior, which stood as the school record until a guy by the name of Adrian Peterson shattered it as a freshman in 2004. Sims followed Campbell with a Heisman win of his own, becoming only the sixth junior in history to do so.
Sims capped his OU career with another solid season in 1979, finishing as Heisman runner-up.
In 1980, the Detroit Lions made Sims the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. He played five seasons in the league -- all with Detroit -- and was named to three consecutive Pro Bowl teams from 1980-82.