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Billy Sims

Running Back

Billy Ray Sims

Inducted 1995

Date of Birth



St. Louis, MO


University of Oklahoma (1975-1979)


Billy Sims, as a freshman in 1975, was a sub on Oklahoma's national championship team. He was injured early in the 1976 season, after carrying the ball three times and gaining 44 yards. The NCAA granted him an extra year of competition because he had played so little in 1976. He had a developing year in 1977, and the next two years he was a superstar. Sims, 6 feet tall, 205 pounds in weight, from Hooks, Texas, was fast and elusive. He racked up 1762 yards in 1978, 1506 yards in 1979, and both totals led the nation. His touchdown totals, 20 in 1978 and 22 in 1979, made him the national scoring leader both years. In 1978, he was named Player of the Year by Associated Press and United Press International, he averaged 7.6 yards on every rushing play and he won the Heisman Trophy. In 1979, he was runner-up in the Heisman vote to Charles White of Southern California. He capped the 1979 season by rushing for 134 yards as Oklahoma beat Florida State 24-7 in the Orange Bowl. This earned him the title of Most Valuable Back in the game. His top rushing games were for 282 yards against Missouri, 1979; 247 against Nebraska, 1979; and 231 against Iowa State, 1978. He played with the Detroit Lions 1980-84, was in the Pro Bowl his first three years, and retired after suffering a knee injury.


Height 6'0

Weight 205

Career Highlights

  • 1979 All-Conference
  • 1979 Conference MVP
  • 1979 Heisman - Second
  • 1979 Led nation in scoring
  • 1979 Unanimous All-America
  • 1978 All-Conference
  • 1978 Conference MVP
  • 1978 Heisman Trophy Winner
  • 1978 Led nation in rushing
  • 1978 Led nation in scoring
  • 1978 Unanimous All-America
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