Any mason or stone worker can tell you that the cornerstone is the most important piece in the design of a structure. It's the first piece laid so all other pieces in the structure are set in relation to it. As a result it ends up determining how the whole thing is laid out.
Phillip Sims wasn't actually the first commitment to the Tide's 2010 recruiting class, that was receiver Keiwone Malone. Sims was actually the eighth prospect to accept an offer to play their college ball under Nick Saban at Alabama.
Still, when everything is said and done he may turn out to be the most important.
The 6'2'' 230 lb prospect out of Chesapeake, Virginia's Oscar Smith high school, has impressed coaches and recruiting analysts across the country since committing. He's done so well that most consider him the top quarterback prospect in the 2010 class.
Sims has consistently shown a strong and extremely accurate arm on the camp circuit. In early July, he traveled to Hawaii to participate in the Elite7 quarterback camp. The event was put on by highly respected quarterback guru Steve Clarkson.
Sims had a great showing at the camp while working under the guidance of Joe Montana, Warren Moon, and Matt Leinart. He followed that a week later when he finished fourth in the Elite 11 competition held in California.
There's no doubting his talent. Perhaps the biggest testament to how good people think he could turn out to be are the constant rumors of other teams attempting to steal him away from the Tide.
Tennessee in particular seems to covet his skill set. After the most recent set of rumors made the rounds, Sims felt it necessary to set the record straight.
"I heard that I was supposedly decomitted from Alabama and was thinking about committing to Tennessee." Smith told Rivals.com site BamaOnline. "I don't know where things like this get started," added Sims, "I am more than 100 percent committed to Alabama. There is zero chance I am going anywhere else."
In every class, it seems as though there is one player who completely sells out to the program from the moment he commits. This year that player is Phillip Sims. He's not content to sit back and wait for signing day either.
Sims wants to help the Tide win a National Championship. Since committing, he has regularly called several fellow prospects trying to convince them to join him at Alabama.
Kyle Prater and James Stone are just two of the players that Sims routinely speaks to. Sims believes that Alabama will get its share of those players he's targeted.
He will graduate a semester early allowing him to enroll at Alabama in December. That's a huge advantage since it will allow him to go through spring practice next April.
Current Alabama starter Greg McElroy will be a senior in 2010. The more time Sims has in Alabama's system the better chance, he has to compete against Star Jackson and AJ McCarron once McElroy has graduated.
He'll have plenty of top notch targets to work with at Alabama. Ronald Carswell, Keiwone Malone, and Blake Sims from this year's class will be ready to jump at the chance for some extra passing drills. That doesn't mention studs Michael Bowman, Kendall Kelley, Kenny Bell and Kevin Norwood from last year's class.
Win the competition and he will go from cornerstone of the Tide's class to the cornerstone of its offense.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!