Blake Sims de-commits to Bama, reopens recruitment

Gainesville quarterback Blake Sims shockingly backed out on his commitment to Alabama the day after it won the national championship. (AJC photo)

Gainesville quarterback Blake Sims shockingly backed out on his commitment to Alabama the day after it won the national championship. (AJC photo)

Imagine, if you can, Blake Sims calling Alabama coach Nick Saban the day after the Crimson Tide wins the national championship to inform Saban that he is de-committing.

That’s what the Gainesville quarterback and long-time Bama commitment did on Friday. He now says he has completely re-opened his recruitment and is considering Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, West Virgina and Michigan as well as Alabama.

“I love Coach Saban and all the Alabama people, but it just didn’t feel like the right fit for me,” Sims told AJC high schools reporter Michael Carvell Friday night. “I had to tell [Saban] first, before the word got out. It was a tough conversation, but I think he understood where I coming from. He respected that I called to tell him myself, rather than have to hear it from other people.”

For this you can thank the Tennessee Volunteers. Head coach Lane Kiffin and assistant Ed Orgeron had an in-home visit with Sims on Wednesday and convinced him he should play on the offensive side of the ball in college and not on defense. Sims had concerns that Alabama wanted him to play cornerback and he was not enamored with the Tide’s offense anyway.

“I’ve been watching their games all year, and I feel l like their offense doesn’t fit me,” said Sims, who’s rated the state’s top quarterback by the AJC and No. 9 overall prospect overall. “I want to help out a team as a playmaker . . . catch balls, return punts, and return kickoffs. I feel like there are better places to do those things than Alabama.”

Sims canceled his official visit to Alabama on Jan. 15, replacing it with a recruiting trip to Tennessee. He’s also expected to set up a visit with the Bulldogs.

During the season, Georgia head coach Mark Richt made a personal push for Sims, who is a lifelong fan and has attended the Bulldogs’ camps every year since the ninth grade. At the time Richt told Sims he’d be given a shot to play quarterback but Sims said he has not heard from the Bulldogs in a while.

Sims is bracing for a backlash from Alabama fans.

“I just hope they understand I have to do what’s best for me and my family,” he said. “Alabama is a great school and I wish them the best.”

After dispensing Friday’s news, Sims’ family said Blake will have no further media contact until he has made a final decision and is directing all inquiries to Gainesville assistant coach Todd Wofford. Here’s a statement I received from Sims via email:

I would like to open this statement with thanks to God for blessing me with the gifts that have given me the opportunity to continue my football career at the next level. I would also like to thank my teammates, coaches and fans and especially my family for the tremendous support during our run to the State Championship.

Since that championship game I have had a lot of time to think about my future as a person and as a football player. As many of you know, last spring I verbally committed to play football for Coach Nick Saban and the University of Alabama. Coach Saban and his staff are some of the finest people I have ever met. [They] have treated me very well throughout the entire process and I believe Alabama is a great place.

Having prayed about my future and talking with my coaches and family, I realize that my heart and desire are on the offensive side of the football. Most of you know me as a quarterback but I feel at the next level I will best suited as a receiver/playmaker. Knowing that is where I want to play, I am announcing today that I am decommitting from Alabama so that I may explore all the opportunities that have been presented to me.

This is a painful decision for me because Alabama is still tops in my heart and Coach Saban is amazing. I just feel it would be the right thing to do for Alabama and myself to pursue all my choices with no obligations. Next fall when I hit the field I want to have a peace in my heart knowing that I checked out every place I could and made the best decision for me and my family.

I am including a list of some of the schools and I will be visiting or talking to over the next 30 days. Thank You and God bless!

Blake Sims

421 comments Add your comment

Gene Okerlund

January 8th, 2010
9:24 pm

Hmmm, sounds like another one of those he said, he saids. The kid is simply not a D1 QB, and if Liar Kiff*n and his minions are feeding him the BS that he is, then they are doing him a disservice.

I wish the kid luck, but anyone who is trusting Kiff*n’s word is obviously not a good decision maker.

Sims should look at Josh Nesbitt. Nesbitt could be entering his SR. year, getting ready to be an NFL safety. Instead, he had better be getting his degree, because he has no future in football after next season.

we beat vandy-- yeah!!!

January 8th, 2010
9:26 pm

Chip- your headline is a joke, along with article. Bama has so much more talent in the backfield in the years ahead than your GA team. We have another Sims coming in next year that will is a superstar– why don’t you do some research Enjoy covering a GA team that will be average at best in the powerful SEC. You have tunnel vision as a local writer.

Herschel

January 8th, 2010
9:28 pm

Glad to hear Gene give Josh that good advice. Gene had many good years playing college ball and also in the pros. Go Dawgs, hunker down, woof, etc…

Scorcher

January 8th, 2010
9:29 pm

Way to go Blake. Do what is best for you and your family. From a friend #5.

hmmm......

January 8th, 2010
9:31 pm

Voice of Reason

January 8th, 2010
9:33 pm

Blake Sims, from what I understand, is a good student as well as a fine football player. A consideration many young men make, is toward football only. Reality is that they should look for a good education unless they are “can’t miss” prospects to play pro ball. Let’s not forget injuries during a college career, therefore another reason to look at academics.
Who offers a better education? If he is a lifelong UGA fan, I would say give them the strongest consideration. An education from UGA is superior to any of the other schools mentioned with the exception of Michigan, and I am not sure how they are rated.
Good luck to Blake Sims to hopefully make the right decision for the long term, not just the next 10 or 15 years.

Lilburn Dawg

January 8th, 2010
9:37 pm

One thing’s for sure…..the kid may have signed that letter, but he didn’t write it! He must have had a profession PR person write it for him!

FIRE LANE KIFFIN

January 8th, 2010
9:37 pm

kiffin is a crook!!! Fire Lane Kiffin!!Go Vols!

Bama 13 and counting

January 8th, 2010
9:37 pm

It’s called Phillip Sims– Blake realized he has NO chance to play QB at Bama. Chip, your comments “he wasn’t too impressed” is stupid. Why don’t you think before you type.

We are better than GA Tech

January 8th, 2010
9:43 pm

Voice of reason- “they should look for a good education”…. “Who offers a better education”…. what are u smoking??? Sounds like lack of voice of reason.

Chip Towers

January 8th, 2010
9:44 pm

Bama 13: It’s a quip

Scorcher

January 8th, 2010
9:45 pm

MR you should be calling this kid, he would be great fit for UGA. The kid can do it all and can play many sports.

MarkTwain

January 8th, 2010
9:48 pm

After all the money Saban has helped secondary players at Bama and LSU make, I don’t know how this is even a choice. But, if a kid decides he wants the ball in his hand bad enough, good for him for following his heart. Just know this, despite what all the yahoos on here say, Saban told you the truth and that is why you changed your mind. If Richt said you’d get a real shot at QB, he’s telling you the truth as well. Kiffin and Orgeron say anything to get a recruit, we’ll start seeing if they stick to their promises over the next few years.

Bama fan

January 8th, 2010
9:53 pm

If Sims wants to play qb then by all means he should leave Bama and go elsewhere. He will not beat out AJ McCarron or Phillip Sims at qb. If he’s leaving because Kiffin is promising him some nonsense about playing qb then I think its a mistake but he will find out what an idiot Kiffin is once he gets there. There is a reason why 11 or more players transferred when they found out how immature this punk is The young man has to do what’s best for him and if its playing offense at UT or Georgia where he can get more immediate playing time then that’s what he needs to do.

shawn

January 8th, 2010
9:53 pm

I for one, am very impressed by the way Blake Sims went about decommitting. Wish all young athletes and people alike showed the class and respect Sims exhibited.

Volunteer Nation

January 8th, 2010
9:53 pm

Bama’s had their day in the sun. Lane Kiffin is gonna teach all these prospects who the new king of the SEC is starting with the 2010 season.

Had it not been for Cody’s block, UT would have rained on the Tide’s parade this season. D’Arick Rodgers and Sims will end up Vols, mark my words and will be the benefactors of a national championship come next season.

We are better than GA Tech

January 8th, 2010
9:56 pm

Saban speaks the truth and he is a winner– read his quotes from the game last night. No dancing on the sidelines and group celebrations in the end zone. Enjoy CMR and his jersey color changes when GA plays a “big” game.

Paul The Vol

January 8th, 2010
9:56 pm

Chip, Tennessee got a commitment from Ahmad Dixon tonight.

Bama fan

January 8th, 2010
9:58 pm

Volunteer nation,

You can’t possibly be serious? Yeah, UT gave us a scare and you can bet Saban will remember that in the off season. When we come to Knoxville this year don’t expect it to be close. We will pound you into submission like we did 2 years ago and the year before that.

As for UT winning the national title this season what kinda crack are you smoking? UT lost their best 7 players including their qb, their starting tailback, 4 out of 5 starting offensive lineman, their best 2 d lineman, their best lb in Rico, and Eric Berry is gone. Even Kiffin acknowledged they will be taking a step back in 2010. You are a joke buddy and your coach is the laughing stock of the sec. And since you’re gonna win the national title this year how did your bowl game go. How did that work out for ya buddy?

RTR

January 8th, 2010
9:59 pm

This kid is a talented athlete, but has NO chance to play QB in college. Saban told him the truth about his football future and could have coached him up to be an outstanding defensive player. If the kid truly wants to play offense, he should get his shot to do what he wants. Just dont be surprised when he is average at best on O.

Calvin Ruff Ruff

January 8th, 2010
10:01 pm

The kid is a quality individual and full of class. Most youngsters don’t go about the process this way. With that being said, I smell a rat. Lane Kiffin is really up to something and we all know it. I hope that Blake and his parents realize what TENN is really all about under the leadership of Kiffin.

shawn

January 8th, 2010
10:01 pm

Bama fan, well said.

Bama 13 – This is an 18 year old kid that wants to play WR so I don’t think Phillip Sims is the reason. In any case, its his descision to make and he is going to do what is best for him, not Alabama football. I am sure the depth that Alabama has was certainly an issue.

poopdawg

January 8th, 2010
10:01 pm

Sounds like Sims handled the decommitment with a lot of class. That call to Saban says alot about the kid. Good luck

LargeOrange

January 8th, 2010
10:02 pm

Where are you all getting the idea Kiffin told him he would be a QB? I don’t see that anywhere in Chip’s article. Kiffin and Coach O want him on offense – not necessarily at QB. Even Blake himself seems to understand that he’s not suited to be a QB at the next level.

You leg humpers should be happy Kiffin got him to open up his recruitment – he says UGA’s still in it. Though I wouldn’t get my hopes up – Kiffin and O are ’bout to set up another pipeline to K-town. Saint Richt is losing ground fast…

Tennessee Assistant Coach

January 8th, 2010
10:02 pm

I have watched Blake Sims play and we need him at Tennessee. He is an special athelete. The problem with him is his accuracy. But after he comes up here and realizes he can’t play qb, then Kiffin will turn him into a safety. Saban knows talent and that’s his position. Sorry coach we got him and he’ll be hitting your wideouts.

Volunteer Nation

January 8th, 2010
10:03 pm

Bama fan. you may have heard that Coach Kiffin has been rewarded with a helicopter to use as a recruiting tool. He will fly that baby right into parts of Georgia & Alabama and sweep up recruits like a dustbuster.

Admit it, you guys got LUCKY last night – had Colt McCoy played a full game it wouldn’t even have been close – they were WHIPPIN’ y’all until your guys had that cheap shot on the nation’s premier QB!

BAMA FAN #2

January 8th, 2010
10:03 pm

Good luck Blake and go way your heart tells you to go!! RTR

shawn

January 8th, 2010
10:04 pm

Volunteer Nation has to be someone posing as a UT fan right; trying to make it seem like UT fans are clueless and ignorant.

We are better than GA Tech

January 8th, 2010
10:05 pm

Volunteer Nation— “had it not”… had it not been for recent arrests, TN might have won the Cow bowl here in Atlanta. You are dreaming– TN will be a 3rd place team in the East next year.

Volunteer Nation

January 8th, 2010
10:12 pm

In a speech to the Lookout Mountain Volunteer club, Kiffin vowed there will be no more arrests of players this year on his watch.

UT thug

January 8th, 2010
10:14 pm

Volunteer Nation– you are correct. Bama got “lucky”. They went 14-0 this year, beat the #1 & #2 teams in the nation, they beat 10 teams that went to bowl games, Bama ended as the #1 defense in the nation. Sounds like a UT grad

Lane the helicopter recruiter

January 8th, 2010
10:14 pm

give him a ride in your chopper and throw in a couple of pretty hostesses and you might get him Lane (fired by al davis)kiffin

shawn

January 8th, 2010
10:14 pm

I have never bought into the idea of “Kiffin will have UT under suspension in x # of years”: until recently. How did he make it through the interview process; you guys have heard him speak right? He comes across as a complete idiot and walks a thin line with to much arrogance; it will come back to bite hime – watch.

MarkTwain

January 8th, 2010
10:16 pm

Knocking the piss out of the other team’s QB is not luck. Sending your best tackle up the middle to block a field goal against a pansy O-line is not luck. It’s what a good defense does. Get a win, get a championship, and until then stop making excuses.

Ginger

January 8th, 2010
10:16 pm

Ok CMR and CMB….let’s go to work and get this guy for the DAWGS !!! We need playmakers !!

Lane the helicopter recruiter

January 8th, 2010
10:18 pm

Any parent that encourages their kid to go to UT while kiffen is there needs to have their head examined.

shawn

January 8th, 2010
10:19 pm

First off, everyone persues players that are already committed (including Georgia & Alabama); some do it more than others (UT). At least to me, it is desperate. It is like trying to sleep with another guys wife, just seems unethical.
When is the NCAA going to wise up and permit and early signing period to limit this practise? Also, can the AJC please add spell check to the commment box.

That was Dumb

January 8th, 2010
10:20 pm

Vol Nation…first there was no cheap shot and to imply so is stupid. Second, had Colt played the full game, the game would have certainly been different, but not necessarily the outcome. Bottom line, Texas had to dance with who they had and they lost. Luck is simply when preparation meets opportunity, ‘Bama made their luck. When Daddy leaves little Lamby, the show will be over. For once Al Davis made a good decision.

Bee

January 8th, 2010
10:21 pm

Can you people not read? He said he didn’t expect to play QB in college but several of you cretins apparently think he decommitted so he could play QB somewhere. This recruiting business is nonsense, anyway. Let the kid decide where he wants to go to college and respect that. It’s none of your stinking business until he suits up some Saturday this fall. Wherever he ends up going, I wish him the best, and maybe – just maybe – he will get an education to help succeed after his football career is over, which is apparently all some of you Neanderthals care about.

Coprophagia Bulldog

January 8th, 2010
10:21 pm

I is educted dfrom UGa there is nothing like it. I can work for aany garbage compaany vanywhere go dogs.

KingGator

January 8th, 2010
10:22 pm

Good thing that the guy is going with his heart. Besides, Saban changes teams about every 3-5 yrs., which would be in the middle of this guy’s college career. Saban also has to listen to his heart, and most assuredly will jump back to the NFL soon to make amends for his fiasco with the dolphins. No doubt he would want to make amends for his loser image in the pros, and please his late father, who was a great coach in the pros with the Bills

RGB

January 8th, 2010
10:24 pm

Recent term papers from Volunteer football players:

1. “Breaking & Entering: The Lost Art”
2. “Convenience Store Robbery: An Insider’s Account”
3. “Bunko: Methods and Methodologies”

MarkTwain

January 8th, 2010
10:25 pm

King Gator- This is the first time Urban’s been five years anywhere and he just tried to quit. Be careful with that glass house.

Bama 13 and counting

January 8th, 2010
10:27 pm

KingGator– have you heard about your recent actions of your own HC? He can’t decide if he wants to coach next year or play golf. Your post is a joke– please go to a “Tebow is coming back for a 5th year” blog.

Bama fan

January 8th, 2010
10:27 pm

Volunteer nation,

Let me explain to you what luck is. Luck is when a game is essentially over and a tailback that has never fumbled in Mark Ingram fumbles the ball for his only lost fumble in his career. Even luckier than that is getting an onside kick. How often does that happen? That’s what kind of LUCK UT had in the bama game. The luck averaged out and the better team won. And if you have a problem with big Terrance Cody blocking a kick then here is a suggestion. Block him! And if your O line can’t block him then guess what? You don’t deserve to win and you didn’t.

Last, how on earth do you call Marcel Dareus hit on Colt McCoy a cheap shot? McCoy was running the ball on Dareus simply tackled him. No blow to the head. No shot at the knees? How is tackling somebody hard a cheap shot? Never heard anybody, not the commentators, not Texas fans, not anybody call that hit a cheap shot? Where do you come up with this lunatic idea that a legal, hard hitting tackle is a cheap shot?

RGB

January 8th, 2010
10:28 pm

What a nonsensical display of “logic” by “king” gator. Little “k” little “g” Big Loss. To ALABAMA!!

ROLL TIDE ROLL!!

BamaPlaya

January 8th, 2010
10:28 pm

Yeah Texas would’ve beaten us if Colt had played. Who cares? We still have 13 National Championships headed to 20. Saban will not lose another game while coaching Alabama. Cheating Kiffin may steal a recruit here or there, but the war btwn the white lines will ALWAYS be won by the good guys wearing crimson until Nick chooses to ride off into that gorgeous Tuscaloosa sunset.

Troof

January 8th, 2010
10:29 pm

Ahhh, Gator fans will be wishing Saban is leaving in a few years. He’s not going anywhere which is bad news for the rest of the SEC. Don’t worry KingGator. We’ll finish the job on Corch Meyer in T-town next year if he decides his little heart can take the stress and comes back to coaching.

FL Dawg

January 8th, 2010
10:29 pm

RGB …

4) How to pick up hillbilly women
5) How to spit with only one toothe
6) The Art of Marrying your mamma and dating your sister at the same time

GA Faithful

January 8th, 2010
10:30 pm

Sad to say it but i dont think he will come to UGA. The stuff that he speaks of doing is already occupied by Brandon Smith and Boykin. And while his style of QB play could compare to that of DJ (who many people said the same things about as a prospect ie couldnt play quarterback in college) and it would be great to have him, CMR said he could compete at QB before Mason committed and its unlikely Richt will say the same thing again…

Long shot for UGA