Sims Can Do It All On Football Field

With Clemson seemingly willing to offer scholarships to the entire Grayson (Georgia) High School football team, cheerleaders, and waterboy, and hire the entire high school coaching staff for the Tigers in order to land defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, there is a reminder of the 1962 Cullman football team.

Following the 1962 season in which Cullman was the unanimous choice as state champion, going 10-0 and outscoring opponents by 399-78 (the closest game was a 20-0 win over Decatur), Alabama Coach Paul Bryant spent recruiting time in Cullman.

Although the big catch was Cullman quarterback Wayne Trimble, a 6-3, 203-pound do-everything player, the Crimson Tide also signed future Bama starters Les Kelley, a fullback, and John Calvert, an outstanding guard, and two others off the Bearcats squad.

The recruiting battle for Trimble was extraordinary for the time, but he had no desire to play anywhere except for Alabama and Bryant.

Trimble was the victim of no fewer than three circumstances as an Alabama player:

• He was a quarterback on a team that had Joe Namath, Steve Sloan, and Ken Stabler at the position.

• He showed up at Alabama with a broken foot and later in his career was sidelined by broken ribs.

• He was so good that he could play just about any position, and so never settled at one.

Trimble was a quarterback, but at various times he was also a starting tailback, and starting "rover" on defense, playing on Tide teams that won two national championships and went 30-2-1. He was an NFL draft choice following his senior season.

Alabama has one of those do-everything athletes who could play a role at quarterback this year. Blake Sims is a 6-0, 212-pound upcoming sophomore who could play any of three positions on offense and likely could play on defense if needed.

There is a temptation to call men like Trimble and Sims "jack of all trades and master of none," but that is inaccurate. They are outstanding at several positions.

Sims came to Alabama as a quarterback from Gainesville (Ga.) High School. He was redshirted as a freshman in 2010, playing quarterback and wide receiver on the scout team. Last year he was moved to tailback and saw action in five games with 22 carries for 107 yards (including a long run of 45 yards against Ole Miss) and had two receptions for 18 yards.

Following spring practice this year, back-up quarterback Phillip Sims (no relation to Blake) elected to transfer to Virginia.

That could mean an expanded role for Blake. He probably won't be a pure back-up quarterback to A.J. McCarron. Redshirt freshman Phillip Ely and incoming freshman Alec Morris are likely to have those roles.

But Bama Coach Nick Saban has indicated there will be a package for Blake, most likely as a wildcat where he would be an offensive weapon as runner or passer.

He was a two-time all-state prep star. As a senior he completed 150 of 254 passes for 2,288 yards and 28 touchdowns. He rushed 115 times for 863 yards (7.5 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns. He had passed for 2,788 yards and rushed for 822 yards as a junior.

Like Trimble, Sims had his choice of colleges, and chose the Crimson Tide over Tennessee, Georgia, FSU, and Michigan.

It is interesting that Robert Nkemdiche has chosen Clemson over Bama in order to continue playing with his high school teammates. Clemson gave up 10 touchdowns to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl. Alabama defensive players gave up nine touchdowns all season in winning the national championship in 2011.

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