Alabama QB Phillip Sims Transferring

This time a year ago, the big question remained: Who would be the quarterback for Alabama in 2011? As it turned out, that would not be resolved until just prior to Bama's opening game of 2011 when AJ McCarron earned the starting job. By the end of the year McCarron was earning the Most Valuable Offensive Player Award as the Crimson Tide won the BCS National Championship.

Following the 2011 season, there were numerous rumors that Phillip Sims -- the man who had finished second to A.J. McCarron in the Alabama quarterback race -- would transfer. The rumors were refuted by Sims and his family.

During spring practice, Sims continued to be the number two quarterback, although he was hampered by a sore shoulder. In the A-Day Game, Sims was quarterback of the winning White team and completed 9-12 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

Nevertheless, it was only mildly surprising when The University announced Friday that Sims, an upcoming third year sophomore, has decided to transfer following the completion of the spring academic semester.

"This was a very difficult decision because I've had a great experience at The University of Alabama and I'm thankful for the opportunity this program provided me," said Sims in a statement released by the athletics department. "I want to thank Coach Saban and the coaching staff for being with me and my family at this time. I wouldn't change anything about my decision to come to Alabama and this has been one of the greatest experiences of my life

" The reason for me leaving is nothing more than a personal matter. I just need to be closer to home to support my family at this time and that needs to be my priority right now. I would still like to continue my football career, and hopefully I can do that and also be there for my family."

Sims, from Chesapeake, Va., played in eight games last season, completing 64.3 percent of his passes for 163 yards. He redshirted in his first year at Alabama in the fall of 2010.

"Phillip has been a great representative of our program and did a great job for us in his two years here," said Coach Nick Saban in the release. "We are sorry to see him leave, but we certainly understand the situation, and everyone here wishes him the best of luck. We've talked on numerous occasions about this decision and we just want Phillip to know that we will be here to support him in the future if there is anything we can do to help him and his family."

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