On June 6th, Ernie Sims and his team along with several elite athletes, hit the road for the 1st Annual Big HITS College Bus Tour sponsored by the Big HITS Foundation. In one short week, Ernie and a group of athletes covered thousands of miles to visit seven universities and colleges throughout the southeastern region of the United States.
Established by the Big HITS Foundation, the tour was developed to provide a unique opportunity for 9-12th graders with a GPA of 2.5 or greater, to attend football training camps, tour athletic facilities, and play in front of hundreds of college scouts — an opportunity they might not have had without the support of Ernie and the Big HITS Foundation.
The tour kicked off on Monday, June 6, at Florida State University (FSU) where Ernie and the athletes toured FSU’s state-of-art football facility. Notable aspects of the tour included a look at the coaches offices, the locker room and a special highlight reel which included some of Ernie’s “biggest hits” viewed in the Noles one-of-a-kind screening room.
Next, the College Bus Tour headed down the road to Florida A&M University (FAMU) where Ernie and the athletes has the opportunity to meet with FAMU Football Head Coach Alex Wood. Coach Wood took time out of his busy schedule to show the group around the FAMU campus, include the athletic facilities and even gave the athletes with a glimpse of the exciting plans for the new Rattler Athletic Complex in the works and expected to be up and running in 2019!
After this tour, the crew hit the road and headed towards Auburn, Alabama where the athletes would visit Auburn University and take part in the Tigers Senior Football Camp!
After a night on the road, on Tuesday June 7, Ernie and the athletes checked in at Auburn University’s football camp. While at Auburn, the athletes also got a chance to see the amenities provided for the football players.
Next stop: University of Louisville. Ernie and the athletes arrived at Louisville for Cardinal Football Camp on June 8. While the athletes attended camp , Ernie spoke with ESPN Louisville about the Bus Tour and the mission of Big HITS. They even took a special detour to visit the childhood home of boxing great Mohammad Ali and honor the Greatest just a few days after his passing.
On June 9, Ernie and the athletes travelled to Tennessee. During their visit to the University of Tennessee, Ernie and the athletes got to see the unique aspects of the campus including the athletic offices, a barbershop and the indoor and outdoor Vols fields.
The next stop on the tour was Gainesville and the University of Florida The Big HITS athletes arrived at the Swamp for Gator Senior Football Camp on June 10. During camp the players participated in drills to see how they measured up. This camp was led by the University of Florida football staff and assisted by some of the top high school and college coaches in the country.
After the camp in Gainesville wrapped up, the group then headed to Tampa for the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp on June 12. At this camp, the athletes ended the tour by receiving tips on athletic and mental training to ensure a healthy mind and body, including hearing from University of Florida head coach Jim McElwain.
Over 7 days, and more than 1,000 miles, a group of high school athletes received a unique opportunity to visit a diverse group of 7 universities and colleges throughout the southeast, guided by former star Seminole and NFL pro Ernie Sims and as a result of the generous support of the Big HITS Foundation.
Interested in learning more about the Big HITS College Bus Tour or participating next year? Visit erniesimsbighits.com for more information.