Some big shoes to follow...
As the "real new year" begins to unfold also known as College football 2010 and here we are about a week from now Alabama takes the field at the dome face to face with the Hokies for a little dance to kick off the season of football.
This is one area of the athletic department that gets paid to focus on the future and not the day at hand. Recruiting does not seem to be on hold, in fact, producing powerful results.
What a major start and continued focus on obtaining the right foundation and keep them coming in. The key is all about the foundation in which you have to build. Right?
It appears that the highly sought, highly driven star quarterback from Chesapeake, Va commits today to BAMA. Some work is never done and maybe the reasons the recruiting is so successful under the coach Nick Saban.
I would not call this looking ahead and not focusing on the moment. I call this making it a priority to never lay low AND keep your focus.
Since the recruiting department of the teams does not have as big of an influence over the already recruited and playing...this is one area of any sport that it is expected and you need to retain quality athletes year after year.
Phillip Sims, the star quarter back at Oscar Smith high school should be added to the "avid Alabama Fan" list for people to watch during 2010. This guy brings a "professional style" ability to his game and to the table for Alabama.
A senior at Oscar Smith high School takes the field for his last season with a certain confidence that he has a home for next year. In five months, he will enter the University of Alabama as a 17-year-old quarterback. I cannot imagine that type of pressure for a kid his age has felt.
Sims, currently the star quarterback and senior in high school, the No. 1 prospect for the college football selection in the upcoming year, and being highly sought by college after college, would have to contend with.
Sims comes from a long line of football players and many will say it was just the "rite of passage." The trouble is that Sims did not see what the others around him did. A little rebellious in his nature was determined that he did not want to play quarterback.
Finally, after realizing that people were going to put him in the quarterback position, he had to decide. The choice was his and he had to find that passion.
As early as 10-years old he knew there was a difference in his playing. Sims could make throws other kids could not make. The only problem was his desire to do this was lacking. It was on a trip with his dad that he realized that all he wanted to do was just throw the football.
Due to the family history of football success this was the only way. It was that simple. "There is no way around it and I might as well go ahead and do it." It was that simple and since then has landed the record for setting pocket passer and looking at breaking some of the state records by season end.
Content to be on the sidelines and second string to Dexter Merritt in 2006, he found himself faced with what seems to be a point that eventually changes his life and desires. This would define the inevitable that everyone kept saying. After all, it was the "rite of passage."
He already knew he could do this but now the time come to take that "rite" or earn that "rite." He had the choice to step up and be a leader or simply just get the job done. Sims figured at most he was going to play two or three plays.
All of a sudden the injury that occurred to Merritt would be season ending.Never dreamed or considered this would be the start of the rest of his career.
One man's misfortune, another man's success? Or so they say...But, in this case it was the single most critical step he took that made him take the opportunity for what it was worth and recognize instead of rebel.
No one ever dreamed that the "rite of passage" player would be the key player to take the school to new levels. The coach knew at the start of the year that it was going to be a rebuilding year and a year of establishing the perfect base with the most strength and potential talent they could develop...but never the less...a rebuilding team.
As a freshman this young man threw for more than 1,200 yards in just six games, not including postseason. He passed for over 1,900 by the completion of his sophomore year, racking up a Division VI title and berth in the state tourney, losing in the semi finals.
With Sims still at the head of the line in 2008, his talent and ability continues to flourish. At 6 foot 2, 209 pounds, the quarterback who could beat you at your own game and dot the exclamation point of a statement found his self defining reason.
The history of his family legacy was so deep in the Virginia territory no one ever thought about the fact he might actually consider a state out of the state. It was an extraordinary decision on someone at the University of Alabama to extend him the chance to be a speaker at the coaching clinic at the University of Alabama.
It was then that he realized that Alabama ran an offense that closely resembled his experience. This caught his eye and he took notice. Since Alabama has one of the most relevant histories in their players turning pro the immediate interest in Bama become the school on the front burner.
Apparently, this was the deciding factor to where he felt that he wanted to be. Why wait to announce it, he stated. I know where I am going and so this was best for him. Personally I think it was a very smart move.
He can now focus on today, focus on his game at hand, concentrate on being safe, and enjoy his senior year. He watched team mates and friends last year become to focused on that and was in turmoil during most of the year.
I think decisions in this case by far a need to disclose to regain a sense of normalcy and be the team mate he was the years prior. It went from crazy to No pressure...do what you love and play ball.
When his father was trying to get him to decide to do it...he told Philip, "Some things are meant for you." And some things are realized and next thing you know he is the number one kid that was expected during the college selection.
His father explains that he did not raise the No. 1 guy, it just happened. To say he was the best when he started as quarterback would be lying...but now that he is No. 1...is it the rite of passage or is it something we have not seen?
I would add this guy to any list of "to watch" this year and see how his senior year at Oscar Smith goes as all predicts. See below the records that Sims is on track to break in the state of Virginia.
According to Rivals the records he is chasing and on track to break are impressive and his current position or stand is as follows.
- Career completions, 222 short of the most in Virginia history
- Career passing yards, 1,475 shy of the state record
- Career touchdown passes, 25 away from the state record
Well now back to the focus at hand...Virginia Tech. kind of fitting would you say the announcement. Roll Tide...Roll.
As Nick Saban would say...Finish...what you started. "Finish in 10 (2010)"