Alabama Football: Breaking Down Impact of Phillip Sims Transfer

Sanjay KirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystApril 27, 2012

Sims' departure leaves a glaring hole on the depth chart behind A.J. McCarron.
Sims' departure leaves a glaring hole on the depth chart behind A.J. McCarron.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The questions that have surrounded the future of Phillip Sims at Alabama will finally come to a halt, as he announced his intention to transfer on Friday. 

Sims has not announced the school he intends to enroll in, but in his statement in the press release issued by the Crimson Tide’s media relations department, he stated the desire to move closer to his hometown of Chesapeake, Va.

Had Sims stayed, Nick Saban would have enjoyed the luxury of having one of the country’s most talented backup quarterbacks.

Considering the strong performance Sims had at the A-Day game two weeks ago (9-of-12, 135 yards and two touchdown passes), the news of his departure leaves a significant hole behind starting quarterback A.J. McCarron.

With Sims gone, Alabama will play this fall with only three scholarship quarterbacks, and McCarron’s backups will consist of two players who have never taken a collegiate snap.

Redshirt freshman Phillip Ely will likely ascend to the backup role, and true freshman Alec Morris will not arrive on campus until the summer.

Ely finished 10-of-18 for 83 yards in Alabama’s spring game, but assuredly, there will be a lot of nervous energy emanating from Crimson Tide supporters should anything cause McCarron to miss game action.

The same thing could be said for a number of teams across the country if their starting quarterback was lost to injury or suspension, but for a team that has recruited as well as Alabama has, this news certainly shines a spotlight on the need for quarterbacks in Tuscaloosa.

As for this season, the ability of McCarron to stay healthy becomes perhaps Alabama’s top priority heading into summer workouts and fall camp.

For a team with aspirations of repeating as national champions, Alabama’s road to its 15th national championship just got a little bit tougher.