Brookwood’s Andre Sims sticking with Michigan State, Mark Dantonio

Andre Sims was actually in East Lansing, Mich., the day Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack. Talked to him and everything. The Brookwood High senior was on an unofficial visit and watched as the Spartans beat Notre Dame 34-31 in dramatic fashion.

It wasn’t until Sims was back home, safe and sound in Snellville, that he learned his future coach could have died that night.

“I heard the day after when we came back,” said Sims, a wide receiver and defensive back who has been committed to the Spartans since early this summer. “Coach [Dave] Warner called and told me about it. First he said they were calling to make sure I made it home safe. Then he told me Coach Dantonio had a heart attack.”

Sims could not have been more surprised. He saw Dantonio like most everybody else did: A fitter-than-usual 54-year-old who had energy enough to fuel an entire college football program.

The truth was, Dantonio had a blockage in one of the arteries to his heart. He began experiencing symptoms — “a squeezing in his chest” — late Saturday night after the game. He was in surgery by morning.

“He’s going to be fine,” Sims said. “They said they actually took him to the hospital before he had it. They said he was having headaches and other symptoms and they got it early.”

Dantonio’s heart attack has brought attention to the stress associated with being a major college football coach. Last December, Florida coach Urban Meyer was hospitalized in Atlanta after complaining of with chest pains following the Gators’ loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. A short time later, Meyer resigned citing health concerns, only to change his mind a day later.

Wake Forest basketball coach Skip Prosser died suddenly of a heart attack at age 56 in 2007. Northwestern football coach Randy Walker died similarly in 2006 at age 52.

Sims said Dantonio’s recent health problems won’t deter him from going to Michigan State to play for him.

“No, not at all,” he said. “From what they told me, he’s very healthy actually. He works out all the time. He’s very active. I guess there is a lot of stress being a college coach, with recruiting and trying to win and all that. But I’m not really worried about it. I’m just praying for him every night.”

Meanwhile, Sims said he is enjoying his senior season at Brookwood. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound athlete has been staying busy as a wide receiver, defensive back, punt returner and kick returner for the Broncos. He had more than 200 all-purpose yards in last week’s 37-0 win over Archer. As a junior last season, Sims set school records for receptions, (56), receiving yards (915), TD catches (9), receiving yards in one game (167) and catches in one game (10).

To this point, the Spartans remain Sims’ only major college offer. He’ll go back for a second unofficial visit for their Homecoming game against Illinois, then an official visit after the season.

Sims said he is open to hearing other overtures but none have come and he’s not worried about it.

“At this point it doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “I’m happy with Michigan State.”

And that goes for Dantonio as well.

116 comments Add your comment

Amsterdam Sam

September 22nd, 2010
7:09 am

For the life of me I cannot understand why kids neede to go out of state.

Amsterdam Sam

September 22nd, 2010
7:17 am

Fidelity means nothing anymore – even in football. Stay home and be loved and watched by those who have always loved and supported you. Saty home and make you state proud of you and others universities the envy of in-home universities. Oh – and notice I didn’t scream first. I figure all of you can figure that out without my help. Well, maybe not those who choose to go out of state, for it seems much in life is hard for them to grasp – things like loyalty. Unless you aren’t good enough to be offered a scholarship by an in-state university, why go elsewhere? We have great schools here with great traditions. The memories made here and the ability to play alongside many of your highschool fellow-players and even past rivals make playing in-state the ideal option and, then when you throw in networking within the state with future in-state employers, why go elsewhere?

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 22nd, 2010
7:35 am

Amsterdam Sam – Did you read the article? He is going out of state because UGA and Tech did not offer him a scholarship.

GT Sambo

September 22nd, 2010
8:14 am

I have a recruiting question for the UGA fans. Seems like last year recruiting class (2010) and this years class (2011) are very light on linebackers for UGA. Given that LB are a key position in the 3-4, particularly the OLB, I am curious as to why UGA hasn’t been more aggressive recruiting linebackers. Any of you UGA recruiting experts have any insight into this.

GT Sambo

September 22nd, 2010
8:15 am

And Chip, if you know the answer to the above question, that would be great, too.

GT Sambo

September 22nd, 2010
8:19 am

Oh, and yes I realize that some of the guys listed at DE on the recruiting lists are really going to be OLB in a 3-4. Even taking that into account, UGA still looks light on LB recruits in 2010 and 2011.

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
8:32 am

GT Sambo, I think I can answer those questions for you. We picked up two LB recruits in last year’s class that we were not expecting to get: Jarvis Jones (USC transfer) and Richard Samuel (moved from RB to his natural position of LB). Last year’s class also had LB’s Brandon Burrows, Demetre Baker, and Dexter Morant with T.J. Stripling being more of a hybrid LB/DE like Justin Houston. In this year’s class we already have Sterling Bailey and Amarlo Herrera committed to us, and we are hard after Xavier Dickson and Ramik Wilson and we are also showing some serious interest in Kent Turrene (current USC commit). Our coaches feel confident in the depth that we have at LB right now and are being really selective in who they offer in this year’s class. Hope that answers your question…

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
8:34 am

Also, as an fyi, Jones, Burrows, Baker and Morant will all redshirt this year (and Samuels is a good possibility to redshirt as well since he is still dealing with a knee sprain). Plus, there is still a chance that we move Alec Ogletree to LB before it is all said and done.

Mark Richt disciple

September 22nd, 2010
8:41 am

I think that they have linebackers, but they could still use more. Alec Ogletree is going to end up at linebacker, like you said many of the defensive ends will be outside linebackers. Hererra and Bailey have already committed. I dont’t think they’ll get any other linebackers in this class though. The wild card is Jarvis Jones, the transfer from USC. My guess is that he will start next year. So they do have a handful of linebackers that just arent called linebackers

Mark Richt disciple

September 22nd, 2010
8:43 am

Lowndes25, you’re my favorite person who posts on this blog, You seem to know a lot about the subject. You know your stuff

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 22nd, 2010
8:51 am

It’s good to see a kid stick with his commitment – Sims is going to be a good one. That just tickled me so much when Michigan State faked a field goal and threw a TD pass for the win…. The look on Notre Dame’s coach was priceless and it does my heart good to see Notre Dame get beat – again. They are so overhyped by ESPN. No matter who Notre Dame plays or what their record is you can bet they will be on TV.

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
8:58 am

Mark Richt disciple, I really appreciate that. Like I have stated before, I love talking about recruiting and there are some good guys that post on these blogs who are just wanting to have a solid discussion about the status of their teams and how recruiting is going. I am not sure if in your post you were saying that Bailey and Hererra are the only two LB’s that we take in this class or not, but if that is what you were implying then I will have to disagree with you. We will get Dickson and Ramik Wilson (if we still want him). Turrene is the toss-up right now…we are still evaluating him and trying to figure out if we want to offer or not…we will more than likely get him up for an official visit though. Also, another name that cropped up this past week that we haven’t talked about in a while is Lamichael Fanning (current Bama commit). He is a LB/DE hybrid like Sterling Bailey and X. Dickson and he was in Athens this past weekend (which was a surprise to most people that I know)…he and his mom are great friends with Garner…keep an eye on his situation over the next few weeks.

Alpha Dawg

September 22nd, 2010
8:59 am

Were loaded at LB, Jarvis should start next yr, Morant, Stripling will be good players…word on the street is Demetre Baker(why he is redshirting i’ve no idea, we need players getting game experince this yr) is the next great LB, Ogletree might end up one, and the wild card is Richard Samuel(hope he gets a redshirt to adjust)..so only having a few LB recruited this yr isn’t that odd. The big question is getting a NT who can play in this 3-4 alignment.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 22nd, 2010
9:03 am

Jarvis Jones had a serious neck injury and Southern Cal let him go… we don’t know if he will play next year but UGA cleared him to play.

RxDawg

September 22nd, 2010
9:09 am

Sam, Michigan St is the only major offer Sims has. So good for him, and good for him sticking with his commitment.

Lowndes25, I have actually been very concerned with UGA’s LB recruiting of late. We’ve missed on some big time prospects the past couple of years which is abnormal. But after reading your update post, I feel much better and I understand a little more about the situation at LB now. And I agree with the Richt disciple, I very much look foward to your posts.

And as always, thanks for the updates and nice story Chip :)

Pago Pago Dawg

September 22nd, 2010
9:11 am

If the only offer was MSU, then fine, he should take it.Spartan campus is very nice…but it can get cold in the Winter.

RxDawg

September 22nd, 2010
9:11 am

And for what it’s worth, I hope Ogletree stays at safety. God knows we desperately need someone worth his salt back there. One of the biggest reasons our D hasn’t been like it was in the early 2000’s is because we don’t have our “Thomas Davis” back there. Gregg Blue and Rashad Jones were the closest thing lately, but even they had their issues. Davis should go down as one of UGA’s best safeties ever. Also, I’m pretty sure Ogletree stated his desire to stay at safety.

RxDawg

September 22nd, 2010
9:18 am

Pago, I agree. I’ve actualy seen the MSU campus up close. In fact, I think it’s the only major northern school I’ve seen.. Anyways, it’s a gorgeous campus and he should enjoy his time there.

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
9:20 am

Flo-Ri-Duh!, there is more to the Jones story than just a simple neck injury and I will leave it at that. He was cleared by at least 3 specialists outside of the USC medical staff, and UGA’s medical staff thoroughly (and I do mean thoroughly) vetted him before we made our offer official. He will definitely play next year (they wanted to give him enough time to get his body back into playing shape and to learn the 3-4)…and, irregardless of what he does on the field, he helped us open back up the pipeline from UGA to Carver-Columbus and that in and of itself is worth a free-ride to UGA IMO.

Alpha Dawg, if our coaches thought for a second that Baker could help us out this year then they would get him out on the field, but we don’t want to burn up a year of eligibility on him. Our coaches want last year’s class to be able to learn the 3-4 defense with as little pressure on them as possible which is why only a handful of the 2010 class is actually playing as True Freshman. Believe me, those guys will benefit immensely from sitting out this year and getting both acclimated to school and to the intricacies of the 3-4.

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
9:24 am

RxDawg, thanks for the compliment…you should feel fine about our defensive coaching staff and their ability to recruit defensive talent…those guys know exactly what they are looking for and they are not willing to waste a scholarship on a guy they don’t think will be able to help us out in the next 4-5 years (unlike the Willie regime). Also, don’t worry about the NT position…we are fine there…if Bean Anderson was healthy right now and in a rotation with Kwame Geathers we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. We already have Chris Mayes committed to us and we will offer Tre Jackson out of Wayne Co. in the next few weeks…not to mention Thornton and Smith from last year’s class who are redshirting this year.

GT Sambo

September 22nd, 2010
9:27 am

Lowndes25,
Thanks, had forgotten about Jarvis Jones transfering and Richard Samuel moving positions. Figuring out what guys will play in the 3-4 can be tough just based on what position they are typically listed at on the recruiting site. A lot of the DTs are really DE in a 3-4, and probably about half the DEs are really LBs. What about a true NT for UGA. Haven’t really seen one of those recruited yet (Tech is having the same problem). NT definitely seems like one of those positions where you have to recruit a bunch of 6′2″ 280 guys and hope one of them develops into a big space eating NT.

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
9:30 am

GT Sambo, see my previous post addressed to RxDawg about the NT position. Chris Mayes is going to be great at the NT position (the kid has been practically unblockable this year while playing for Spaulding County). Also, we will offer and get Tre Jackson out of Wayne Co. (sorry, know that GT is recruiting him as well, but he will be a Dawg if we offer).

RxDawg

September 22nd, 2010
9:36 am

I think we’ve officialy hijacked this thread from all the Michigan State fans =D

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
9:41 am

Great pickup MSU!!! Now can we get back to Bulldogs recruiting :)

GT Sambo

September 22nd, 2010
9:47 am

Oh yes, I didn’t go back and read that one completely. Still seems like NT is a tough position to recruit for, just because no high school kids have that body type right out of HS. We’ve got a couple of guys that look proming too (Shawn Green and Denzel McCoy from 2010 class), but like I said it really seems like you kind of have to hope they develop (both body and skills).

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
9:59 am

Well, Chris Mayes is already 6′5″ and around 300 lbs and he has the potential to put another 30 or more pounds on his frame and still keep his quickness so I like what our coaches did in getting him. Tre Jackson is 6′6″ and weighs close to 300 lbs as well…he would have a lot more offers than he does right now but he got injured at the beginning of his Junior year.

The verdict is still out on if Green and McCoy can step things up and play NT in a 3-4. Personally, I would rather have Green playing DE (the kid is a play-mker) and then concentrate on getting McCoy’s body big enough to handle the rigors of playing NT…JMHO….

GT Sambo

September 22nd, 2010
10:14 am

We’ve got TJ Barnes who is 6′7″ 330, but I think he is almost too tall to play NT because he isn’t able to get under the pads of the OLs as effectively as someone shorter. He seemed to play quite a bit betterin the UNC game so we will see. I think the ideal body type for NT is Warren Sapp, 6′2″ 330 with a really quick first step. That’s why I think you bring in a bunch of guys between 6′ and 6′4″ 280 to 300 and hope one develops. In any event, I am sure UGA will be fine

GT Sambo

September 22nd, 2010
10:17 am

As far as Green and McCoy, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is exactly the opposite, with Green playing NT and McCoy DE. Green was already listed on the two deep at NT earlier this year before the first game (although I had a feeling at the time they still wanted to red shirt him and indeed he didn’t play).

Bama Fan #2

September 22nd, 2010
10:18 am

Lowndes25 thanks for the news about the Fanning kid current Bama commit. If Georgia loses
to Miss St. I bet the dawgs start having a few kids think about looking at other schools which
get help the crimson tide as in Crowell and Dickerson!! RTR

GT Sambo

September 22nd, 2010
10:39 am

Bama Fan #2,
I actually disagree, I think the relationships are much more imprtant than one or two wins or losses. I think a coaching change might make it more likely to see recruits waver, but actually my understanding is that Bobo isn’t doing a lot of direct recruiting. (And let’s be honest Dawg fans, that is the most likely coaching change). I actaully think that if Richt decided to fire Searls that that would hurt more on the recruiting front with certain recruits where he is their primary contact.

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
10:39 am

Barnes is a big kid who is having the same issues that Kwame Geathers is at UGA…learning to keep your big body low so that OL can’t get their hands under your pads and move you out of the way (just like you said). Geathers looked great for UGA last week and I see his playing time increasing over the next few weeks…Barnes will learn to get his body low, or CPJ/Groh will move him to the OL and utilize his skill set there. I really like McCoy and Green and think they will be big contributors on your line over the next few years.

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
10:43 am

I know that most Dawg fans don’t want to hear this right now, but none of our coaches are going anywhere. We have a very good staff that works well together and I think you will start to see the fruits of their labors over the next few weeks. The loss of AJ Green for the first 4 games of the year has more to do with our struggles than Bobo’s play-calling…Green requires so much attention that when he is not on the field it allows for the opposing team’s safeties to stay in the box and take away our TE’s and also muddies up the middle thereby taking away crossing routes. Last week we also had some other guys out with injuries (Caleb King, Marcus Dowtin, Shaun Chapas, etc.) that also affected us…once we get those guys back we will be a force to reckon with.

naganole

September 22nd, 2010
10:48 am

However, if you’re coaching staff explodes, we’d be happy to find a spot for Garner…

dawgster

September 22nd, 2010
10:59 am

Lowdnes25…thanks for the recruiting updates, they are always exciting to read…and as you know quiet well, with recruiting it is never an exact science especially dealing with 18-19 year old kids…I’m llike you in that some of the people on here calling for major Coaching changes again don’t realize the impact that would have on what is going to be an outstanding class…Its also a pleasure to get on these blogs and actually talk football instead of the downgrading and bashing of other programs and coachiing staffs…I get sick of that and unfortunately, i find myself getting too involved in debating them as i will always defend the dawgs…I may not agree with the coaches in play calling strategy or having this person or that person playing, but i;ll let the coaches make those decisions…Some of the discussions that are taking place on these sites which are at times agitated by some of the media hype do nothing to help our dawgs win a game…I would hope that true dawg fans will stay behind this team and we reserve any judgement until the end of the season…go dawgs and thanks again Lowndes25

ryan

September 22nd, 2010
11:06 am

Lowndes 25 do think are commits will look elsewere if loose to MSU which i don’t think will happen because we getting some are guys back .

RxDawg

September 22nd, 2010
11:14 am

ryan, no offense, but I didn’t understand that post at all..

ryan

September 22nd, 2010
11:22 am

Celeb King will play on Sat may get Brandon Smith back as well man got have some faith if your a true Dawg fan.

GT Sambo

September 22nd, 2010
11:23 am

All right, I can’t believe I am going to get on here and defend UGA. But if a recruit suddenly decided to de-commit from UGA because you guys lost a couple of admittedly tough games was that guy really “committed” to begin with? (I don’t think you were favored in either of your last two and I saw one line saying you weren’t favored this week either, although I saw something this morning saying the line had moved and UGA was favored by 1.5). Anyway, just my two cents. Some 17 and 18 year olds are bound to change their minds during the recruiting process, but I didn’t really notice the losing hurting recruiting too much last year.

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
11:29 am

ryan, I don’t think you will. We have a very close class. Plus, unlike most of our fans, the guys we are recruiting understand the complexities that our team is having to deal with (i.e. Freshman QB, no AJ Green, new defense, etc.). The only way we lose any recruits is if we fire Coach Richt, and I don’t see that happening.

naganole (aka nagadawg), keep dreaming :)

dawgster

September 22nd, 2010
11:29 am

Lowndes25…do agree with you regarding the players we have been missing..and of course I agree with you on AJ and how it disrupts what we want to do…I think the issue with most true fans is that we ought to be balanced enough on offense in that another defense cannot take away one aspect of your game and render you helpless…i think this is where the OC has to be more creative and the other players have to step it up…I did see some of that Sat, but we still seem to be in shock mode with AJ not being there…to be a really good offense we should not be shut down due to one player…But i see some encouraging things expecially in the QB play and saw some other receivers step up their game against Ark…I would like to see the TE’s involved more and O.Charles not having any passes thrown to him is not the way to get it done…I think that the overall feelings of the people i talk to is that it seems that AJ is our only weapon and thus other teams are captilizing on that…Hopefully with his return that will open more things up…I may be wrong in my accessment here but the players need to not feel like they can’t get it done without AJ…I know the Coaches are not approaching it that way, but i wonder in the back of the players minds that they are doubting their ability without AJ there…go dawgs…

ryan

September 22nd, 2010
11:34 am

GT Sambo i agree SC had much better defence but that game could have gone either way and with the Hogs Murray did play better in the 2nd half and Butler had 2 bad punts thats what killed us was the field position Mallit had .

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
11:44 am

dawgster, AJ Green is not the only weapon that we have on offense, but he is the key to keeping defenses honest while our other receivers try get back from injury (i.e. Kris Durham and R. Wooten). AJ demands attention whenever he plays…usually that is in the form of a double-team of some kind (i.e. Safety over the top). If you have at least two guys committed to one player (and everyone else on the defensive side of the ball worried about Green) then that has a resounding affect on what you can do as an offense. Since AJ is not playing, teams load the box and effectively shut down the running game by clogging up the middle and also take away those short and intermediate routes. However, as you noticed last game, our WRs are doing a much better job of getting open and coming back to the ball to help their young QB out (look at how well Durham has played the past few games as an example). There have been numerous times our young wideouts have not run the routes that they are supposed too which has caused Murray to have to tuck the ball and get what he can…all of those are mistakes that can be easily fixed. Just think how good guys like Durham, King and Gray will be once we get AJ back and they are not being double-teamed…plus, you will see our TE’s catching a lot more once AJ gets back.

ryan

September 22nd, 2010
11:44 am

That is relief Lowndes25 thanks for all the info .

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
11:49 am

Plus, our OL is still recovering from injuries (Ben Jones had to have arthriscopic knee surgery, Cordy Glenn had Mono, Chris Davis has a debilitating hip injury, Chris Burnette had a concussion and now has a dislocated knee cap, Trinton Sturdivant is recovering from his second major knee surgery, and Austin Long is still recovering from majory back surgery)…hard to completely lay the fault at the OLs feet since they have not had a chance to play together much over the past few weeks. If we can get those guys healthy, and get AJ back, our offense will look like the O we had at the end of last year but with a lot better QB.

ryan

September 22nd, 2010
11:53 am

This MSU game should be a turning point Celeb King will give us a boost .

dawgster

September 22nd, 2010
11:54 am

Lowndes25…agree with you once AJ is back i’m hoping we will see a different offense and you are right teams shouldn’t be able to load up the box and take away some other options, especially our TE’s…Since it is pretty much assumed that AJ will forgoe his senior year…who do you think that we have on the roster next year that would be our go to receiver or do you see one of the incoming recruits being able to step up in that role…Of course i’m hoping that if we get the young Rb out of Columbus and he can pick things up and be an impact player we think he will be, then that will open up our passing game more and not having that one go to guy will not be as critical as it is this season with AJ out of the line-up…I keep thinking Marlon Brown could be that guy, i know he is young and didn’t really face the toughest of High School competition so the learning curve for him as been slower…What do you think?

The Truth

September 22nd, 2010
12:02 pm

Chip you might as well turn your column over to Lowndes25 as he seems to know more about what is going on with recruiting than you or your comrades at the AJC and he answers other bloggers questions.

ryan

September 22nd, 2010
12:04 pm

I am surprised that we have not used Wooten as much when he gets the ball its YATC .

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
12:08 pm

T. King will be the go-to-guy next year with Marlon Brown a close second. If King can stay healthy and out of trouble, he has the ability to be a great wideout. Michael Bennett will take over the Kris Durham role as a tall, possession type of receiver with deceptive speed. R. Wooten has the potential to be a great slot receiver as well, but he has just got to stay healthy. Logan Gray is an X-Factor in the equation…he is still learning how to play the WR position, but he has great hands and great athleticism. I think if he spends a whole summer concentrating on just playing receiver then he has the potential to be another Jordan Shipley type of WR. As far as the guys we currently have commnitted to us, Christian Conley is the one WR who can make an immediate impact due to his size and hands (the other guy will be Ty Montgomery when he commits :) ).

Lowndes25

September 22nd, 2010
12:11 pm

Isaiah Crowell is the real-deal…did you see his game against Lagrange last Friday night on ESPN? 197 yards rushing and 3 TDs and he has great hands out of the backfield…perfict fit for our Offense…he is going to look good running up and down the field in red-and-black :)