Alabama Crimson Tide: Phillip Sims

Top Alabama recruit misses 

January, 22, 2013
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Five-star talent doesn't always equate to star-studded results on the football field. Every so often a player fails to reach his full potential. Whether it's a lack of effort in the weight room, a lack of understanding on the practice field, or something as simple as the wrong fit systematically, misses are bound to occur. With that in mind, we'll take a look back at the recruiting classes since 2006 and determine who were some of the biggest misses.


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Roundtable: Alabama, Michigan recruiting 

August, 30, 2012
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Every other week, TideNation’s writers will answer a handful of questions that address a pressing topic regarding the Alabama football program. And with every Roundtable, we’ll see out the opinions of a guest. This week’s contributor is WolverineNation recruiting writer Tom Van Haaren.

Question: Alabama and Michigan kick off the 2012 season in Dallas on Saturday. What would a win do for recruiting?

Greg Ostendorf:
Alabama has become accustomed to not just playing in national spotlight games early in the season, but winning those games. That has paid dividends on the recruiting trail. It also doesn’t hurt to have won two national championships in the last three seasons. However, Michigan’s 2013 class is currently ranked higher than Alabama’s, so a win over the Wolverines on Saturday, especially if it’s in convincing fashion, could slow down the momentum for Brady Hoke and remind recruits of the SEC’s dominance during the last decade.

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Countdown to kickoff: 16

August, 16, 2012
8/16/12
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From now until kickoff in Arlington, Texas, we'll be counting down the days before Alabama and Michigan get the season started. Today, we move to No. 16 and what it means to UA football. See all the previous editions here.

Funny how things can change so drastically in a year's time. Case in point: AJ McCarron.

This time last year McCarron was in a battle with Phillip Sims for the starting quarterback job. Now McCarron is on the Davey O'Brien Award watch list and Sims is playing for Virginia.

McCarron came on strong in 2011-12, tossing 16 touchdowns in his first season starting under center. The then-sophomore threw for 2,634 yards and five interceptions. He completed 66.8 percent of his passes.

Entering his junior season, McCarron feels like a different and improved quarterback.

"I feel like the game has slowed down a lot," he said. "When you first get into this game you want to throw touchdowns, you don’t always take what the defense gives you. I feel like I do that, do a pretty good job of that as now, and I just have to keep doing that. Just keep growing as a leader. Coach I met with him the other day, we were just talking about the scrimmage, and just keep taking what they’re giving me, like one of our old saying, ‘Take what they give you and eventually they’re give you the game.’ Basically that’s just what I need to do."

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Year 1 vs. Year 2

John Parker Wilson
  • Year 1: 17 TD, 10 INT, 2,707 yards, 57.0 completion percentage
  • Year 2: 18 TD, 12 INT, 2,846 yards, 55.2 completion percentage
Greg McElroy
  • Year 1: 17 TD, 4 INT, 2,508 yards, 60.9 completion percentage
  • Year 2: 20 TD, 5 INT, 2,987 yards, 70.9 completion percentage
AJ McCarron
  • Year 1: 16 TD, 5 INT, 2,634 yards, 66.8 completion percentage
  • Year 2: ?
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama began the final week of spring practice Tuesday, taking to the field under partly cloudy skies, and just for good measure, a few drops of rain.

The Crimson Tide will practice Thursday before heading into Bryant-Denny Stadium for the annual A-Day scrimmage on Saturday.

Here are a few notes and observations from Tuesday's media viewing period of today's practice:

  • Brent Calloway remains at H-back this week. The former running back turned linebacker was switched to H-back last week and the move has seemed to stick -- for now.
  • Alphonse Taylor also remains at his new spot on the offensive line after switching there from nose guard. It's been fun watching Taylor learn the position. He certainly has the size and strength to move the pile as a true freshman, but he's still getting a hang of the technique.

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SimsDavid Brown/Icon SMIIf Tide quarterback Phillip Sims gets healthy, he might be the backup to AJ McCarron.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Over the course of 13 games and four months, AJ McCarron went from climbing a depth chart to climbing a podium to lift up the BCS Championship game trophy.

Of the Crimson Tide starters, McCarron was one of the few without experience heading into the 2011 season. By the time all was said and done, though, he gained experienced and a reputation as a leader beyond his underclassman status.

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Saban talks spring scrimmage

March, 31, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala -- It felt a lot more like football on Saturday afternoon as the University of Alabama held its first scrimmage of spring practice inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide wore full pads and went offense against defense under partly cloudy skies -- all in all great conditions to get the first taste of full-speed action for the first time since Jan. 9.

[+] EnlargeJeremy Shelley
Tyler Kaufman/Icon SMIJeremy Shelley was 4-for-4 on field goals in Saturday's scrimmage.
Alabama coach Nick Saban addressed the media after the roughly two-hour scrimmage and gave his take on the team's progress with nine days of practice now under their belt. He said he was pleased with the overall effort of his team and focused on the need for the more inexperienced players to learn how to play a winning brand of football.

“With a lot of young players, the thing we need to improve on is getting more players to understand what it takes to play winning football on a consistent basis," Saban said, calling on players to think about the process of getting better and understand they must have a plan to go about doing so.

Saban kept most of his compliments for his quarterback. AJ McCarron was a solid 25-for-43 passing for 290 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception. Saban said McCarron played well and was “very commanding” under center.

McCarron’s backup, Phillip Sims, was kept from throwing during the scrimmage because of what Saban called a “sore shoulder” comparable to bursitis. Saban said there was nothing structurally wrong with Sims' throwing shoulder and that he received a shot to “enhance the healing.”

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