Blake Sims has struggled to find his niche in the Alabama offensive scheme. On the surface, it may seem that he is a misfit. However, a deeper look at his resume reveals that his purpose may simply have been to be at the Capstone when Phillip Sims transferred.
There are merits to his case, and it should not come as a shock to anyone should he earn the backup quarterback spot on the 2012 Crimson Tide depth chart.
One of the issues with selecting a backup quarterback for Alabama is the fact that there is a giant lack of game experience among the contenders.
Blake has seen action (resulting in a stat line) in four games for the Tide. (Kent State, North Texas, Vanderbilt and Mississippi.) When it came down to the eerily-similar stat lines of A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims, McCarron won the starting position by virtue of his on-field experience.
Expect similar results in this year's backup battle. When it comes to SEC defenses, only two quarterbacks have seen them firsthand: A.J. McCarron (starter), and Blake Sims (future backup).
After all, he IS the only candidate that has seen the SEC defenses firsthand. That's a huge plus for Sims.
Who will win the backup QB position?
A little over a year ago, Sims was earmarked (via al.com) for the third-string quarterback position. He showed promise in the fall, but the competition was just too much for Saban NOT to use him as a tailback.
With Lacy, Fowler, Hart and Yeldon holding down the tailback fort, Sims is staring down the barrel of the athlete gun...again. However, Sims is unique in the fact that he's a true athlete. He's been slated for everything from quarterback to defensive back in his career at 'Bama.
According to my previous link, he picked up the playbook and general quarterback position better than anticipated. This means that he has been in the back of Saban's mind as a quarterback the whole time.
All Sims needed was for the stars to align. (Or, in this case, the star backup to leave.)
While A.J. McCarron has the mobility to dart around (freakishly well in some instances) in the pocket and buy time to make a throw, Blake brings a running aspect to the quarterback position that may prove extremely useful in the near future.
Imagine running the wildcat with a player that throws darts instead of lobs. No tricks, no gimmicks—just a backup quarterback and his ridiculous versatility.
Heck, he could be a stellar returner as well as a backup quarterback/tailback/defensive back.
His biggest competitor, in terms of raw talent at the position, is part of the 2013 recruiting class (Cooper Bateman). Phillip Ely could step up and make the depth chart, but he doesn't offer the versatility or the in-game experience that Sims does.
Blake Sims will have a fire in his belly that none of the other competitors have. He's a sophomore that has not played a single position for an entire season.
Sims is not going to get lost in the shuffle. He's going to step up, and step up in a big way in 2012. He may be a dark horse, but he's the best horse in the race.