After four years on the bench and several positions changes, Blake Sims finally became Alabama’s starting quarterback in 2014. He went on to break Alabama’s single-season passing yards mark and lead the Crimson Tide to an SEC Championship. This is his goodbye to the city, school and fans. All words are his own as told to Bleacher Report's Alabama Lead Writer, Marc Torrence.
I went to the University of Alabama to become a man. When he was recruiting me, Coach Saban gave me his word that when I left, I would leave a grown man with a degree.
He kept his word.
Coach Saban was like a father figure to me. Words can’t explain how much he has taught me about life and how much better prepared I am for success than when I showed up in Tuscaloosa. Whenever I was wrong, he would let me know "Blake, that’s not the way that a man acts. That’s not how a professional quarterback acts." Our relationship could not be stronger.
When I first got to campus, I had great role models like Trent Richardson to help guide me.
Whenever he saw me doing the wrong thing, he would pull me to the side to talk to me one-on-one and say "that’s now how you do it." And still to this day our relationship is big brother, little brother. He has kids, I have kids, and we will always be there for each other.
I want to say thank you to Coach Saban and all my teammates and former teammates for believing in me and always having my back.
Those guys taught me that hard work pays off, were always there for me no matter the outcome. I will forever appreciate that.
I also want to say thank you to Coach Kiffin for everything he has done for me. He taught me how to be a quarterback and had my back when I was down and out. He was always there for me and gave me great advice. I knew I could go talk to him about anything, no matter what the situation was.
And to the Crimson Tide fans, keep being the best fanbase in the country. Trust in Coach Saban and whoever he starts at any position. Believe in that player as you believed in me. I’m a prime example of what happens when fans get behind somebody and believe in them.
After last year, I wish I could play another season in Tuscaloosa, but God has a plan for me. He gave me an opportunity, and I took advantage of it. If I had to re-do my career at Alabama, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Since I have been out of school, fans have been wishing me the best of luck in the draft and have said how much of a role model I am to young kids. That means a great deal to me and lets me know that I need to stay positive in everything that I do and stay on the right path.
It was all definitely worth the wait.