It's been five years and a long road for Sims to finally earn the rewards for all his hard work.
We Have Two More Games (possibly) To Enjoy Blake Sims
By: Larry Burton
This article is to get folks to relax and appreciate, for at least one more, but most possibly two more games, the man that Blake Sims is and what he brings to this team.
Sims was hardly anybody’s first choice for starting quarterback this season and most of the Alabama nation spent the first half of the season waiting for Jacob Coker to finally be inserted instead. But a funny thing happened, the best man won out.
Now let me be the first to say that Sims still can’t make the throws we’ve seen Coker make in practice. He can’t see over the line or spot second and third choices like Coker. But what he can do is make a quick decision, get rid of the ball fast, make plays with his legs when he has to, buy time with them when he needs to, but mostly and more importantly for Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin, remain unruffled when things around him seem bad and make plays when they have to be made.
No quarterback in the country, not even Marcus Mariota, is as reliable on third down. Few come close to his completion percentage and none have been so clutch in come from behind situations in big games.
For all the fans who lamented AJ McCarron leaving Alabama, Sims shattered his passing record and became the leader in for passing yards in a single season. Folks, that for all time passing leaders with 3,250 passing yards in a regular season. In this big game against a defense that was thought to be a bit of a problem, Sims completed 23 of 27 attempts for 262 yards and two touchdowns to be named the game MVP.
As impressive as his stats have been, the real reason to celebrate two more games of Sims is the man himself.
This is a man who played on special teams, played running back, was looked at for defensive back, was a scout team player, a fifth year senior who would have done anything asked of him if it helped the team. Sims was a man who more than paid his dues to finally earn his shot as a star, but also kept his nose in the books and his butt out of trouble. Never was Sims character in question. He was the embodiment of what coaches want to see in their student athletes.
He is humble, only thanking God, his coaches, teammates and fans in that order for his success. After a big win, he isn’t partying till dawn, he’s checking on his daughter and going to bed early to get ready for the next day. He’s not a yelling, jersey grabbing, in your face kind of leader. He leads by a quiet example. He is the calm in the storm around him and he’s the undisputed leader of this offense.
DeAndrew White says that Sims is the same person on a third and 20 while behind on the scoreboard as he is 25 points ahead on a third and one.
For years, Alabama didn’t really know what to do with Sims. He was just a hard working great athlete that they could plug into almost any position it seemed. But this year, under Lane Kiffin, he finally blossomed as a quarterback, finally envisioning a dream that both men had at one time.
When at Tennessee, Sims was recruited and recruited hard by Lane Kiffin as quarterback of the future. Kiffin told Sims he could see his arm and athleticism being developed by him to be a star quarterback and while Sims seriously considered Kiffin’s offer, his heart was at Alabama. Now finally, four years later, the two finally got that chance to be together and see what Kiffin could do with him. The rest of the story is now in the Alabama record books, not the Tennessee record books.
And still, Sims may not be fully appreciated by every Alabama fan fully yet. The truth is, players like Sims aren’t ever as appreciated until after they’re gone and people finally realize what they had. So this article is to implore those fans who are still in the “Don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” camp to finally just sit back, relax and enjoy these last games with Blake Sims calling the signals. You may not see one like him again for a while.
Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter