Former Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) quarterback Phillip Sims is transferring from the University of Alabama.
“The reason for me leaving is nothing more than a personal matter,” Sims said in a statement released on Friday. “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.”
The University of Virginia could well be his next landing spot. Michael Phillips reports that the 6’2″, 210-pound rising sophomore is applying for a hardship waiver granted to players transferring to be close to home for family reasons. If granted, Sims could transfer to an FBS school close to home and be eligible to play immediately.
In that scenario, he’s likely to join coach Mike London at UVa. – Phillips writes in his report.
Via Twitter, Doug Doughty of the Roanoke Times and Jerry Ratcliffe of the Charlottesville Daily Progress report that UVa has gained permission to talk with Sims.
“UVa source just told me that Virginia is in receipt of a release from Alabama with permission to talk to QB Phillip Sims,” Ratcliffe wrote.
If Sims’ hardship appeal is denied, it would seem highly unlikely that he would transfer to an FBS program. Sims has already used a red-shirt season at Alabama, and if the appeal is denied he would have to sit out a full season should he transfer to an FBS program. He would then only have two years of eligibility remaining, starting in the 2013 season. He would be immediately eligible, though, if he transferred to an FCS school.
Sims was 48-4 in four years as Oscar Smith’s starting quarterback. He threw for 33, 38, and 33 touchdowns in his final three years with the Tigers. His junior season, he threw only four interceptions in addition to the 38 touchdown throws.
A highly recruited prospect out of high school, Sims picked Alabama and enrolled in Tuscaloosa in January of 2010. He red-shirted in 2010. In 2011 he was the backup to A.J. McCarron, who helped the Crimson Tide to a National Championship last season as a red-shirt sophomore. Sims played in eight games this past season, completing 64-percent of his passes while throwing for 163 yards. He had two interceptions.
TheSabre.com attempted to reach Oscar Smith head coach Rich Morgan late this afternoon for further comment, but initial attempts have been unsuccessful.
As it stands, UVa will have four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster in the 2012 season. Junior Michael Rocco is the starter. Sophomore David Watford, freshman Grayson Lambert (already enrolled) and freshman Matt Johns round out the depth chart. If he indeed comes to Charlottesville (and gets the waiver), Sims would be a sophomore with three years of eligibility remaining.
UVa also has gained a commitment from class of 2013 quarterback Brendan Marshall, who attends Good Counsel High School (Olney, MD).
The big news of the day focuses on state quarterback Phillip Sims, an Oscar Smith High School product that currently plays for Alabama. As mentioned in The Afternoon Break on Thursday, transfer rumors have been swirling around Sims this week and naturally that has the message boards buzzing. Check out the football board for multiple threads on the talented QB. Sims’ Twitter feed added to the speculation when he posted:
“The hardest thing to do in life is to say goodbye to the ppl we care about #realtweet”
So is Sims transferring from Alabama? Is UVa a potential destination? The rumor mill says yes, but there are no official reports out there on anything Sims related. That hasn’t stopped the speculation and debate as Cavalier fans suddenly are worried about having too many quarterbacks in competition just one year removed from having ZERO experienced players at that position entering the 2011 season. That doesn’t mention the QB depth and rotation problems late in the Al Groh era.
Sabre recruiting analyst Chris Horne says that Sims and UVa have been connected on the rumor circuit before. Horne remembers the highly touted Sims’ days at Oscar Smith and ranked him No. No. 1 in TheSabre.com’s rankings for the 2010 class.
“Sims was a 4-year starter for one of the state’s top high school football programs in Oscar Smith. In his time there, he was a highly productive and efficient quarterback, throwing for 33, 38, and 33 touchdowns in his final three seasons. The Tigers went 48-4 with him as the starting quarterback. What I remember being most impressed with about Sims out of high school was his arm strength and poise in the pocket. He was also a tremendous competitor,” Horne said.
“The rumors of Sims to UVa have been going on for a while now, and it’s likely that Charlottesville would be a serious option he would want to explore if indeed he is transferring,” Horne added. “UVa’s quarterback situation looks a lot better than it did at this time a year ago, with rising junior Michael Rocco looking comfortable and performing well as the starter. Still, in my mind you can’t turn down a player of Sims’ talent level. He may not have won the starting quarterback spot at Alabama, but he still has the tools to be an outstanding college quarterback. And when you are in a building mode like Virginia is, you need those potential big-timers whenever you can get them.”
The Virginia men’s lacrosse team faces Penn in Denver tonight in the Mile High Classic. You can watch the 7:30 p.m. game on ESPN3.com. In the meantime, check out The Afternoon Break‘s selected video for today.
Inside Lacrosse took an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Virginia Cavaliers lacrosse team as it prepared to play Syracuse in one of the sports most anticipated match-ups earlier this season.
Taylor Barnette is the latest name on the basketball recruiting radar. Read threads about it here and here.
On the baseball board, fans wonder how many innings Justin Thompson can give in a week. There’s also a thread talking about the potential pro prospects for several Cavaliers. The Hoos are at Miami for a series this weekend. All three games are televised. Check your local listings for availability.
Former men’s soccer player Chris Agorsor has been in message board threads here and here this week. Here’s a Richmond Times-Dispatch article on him joining the Kickers. Jeff White over at VirginiaSports.com published this article about UVa’s incoming recruits this week too.
Football fans can check out this video of the Hoos visiting the Charlottesville Boys and Girls Club.
The Afternoon Break figures the NFL Draft is a perfect excuse to take a few minutes and look at Virginia’s potential draft prospects. This blog link from ESPN.com gives draft projections for the ACC. You can talk about it with other UVa fans here.
The Scouts Inc. arm over at ESPN forecasts the following Hoos earning a draft slot:
Virginia’s baseball win against VCU on Wednesday night was No. 400 for coach Brian O’Connor. Say congrats in this thread! You can check out highlights from that game from Sabre media partner CBS 19 here.
Basketball recruiting and transfers continue to be a trending topic in the college sports world. Virginia’s program is not immune to the chatter. UVa coach Tony Bennett picked up a big transfer commitment from South Carolina forward Anthony Gill to help fill some of the roster void created when KT Harrell and James Johnson left the Cavaliers’ program during this past season. Naturally Hoo fans are excited about the addition of Gill, who also visited Ohio State before picking Virginia.
Here are a few basketball message board links.
Poster cavaleerjones wonders where points in the paint will come from next season in this thread.
AcHoo believes that UVa needs another shooting guard on the future roster, which sparked this conversation.
Meanwhile, GratefulHoo also provided a video link for Gill highlights in this thread. Here’s the video:
Today’s edition of “The Afternoon Break” also features other quick links.
It’s not basketball, but transfer murmurs are common in football too. There are a pair of threads on transfer rumors of Alabama QB Phillips Sims, a product of Oscar Smith High School in Virginia, here and here.
On the baseball board, this thread provides this link to an update on the Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman’s injury. There’s also some discussion about UVa’s relief pitching situation for the Miami series this weekend. Virginia faces VCU tonight in Richmond – read TimoniumHoo’s scouting report here.
Over on the lacrosse board, SJR wants to know “Why optimistic going into the tournament?” – join the discussion here.
On the EDGE, Sabre recruiting analyst Chris Horne shared this link in this thread with news about Myles Nash; the Timber Creek (Erial, N.J.) junior has narrowed his list to six schools including Virginia.
It’s time to introduce something new here to The Good Ol Blog. We’ll call it “The Afternoon Break” – if someone has a better suggestion, we’re all ears! – with a goal of providing a regularly occurring post on weekdays. We thought about doing this sort of feature some time back, but the goal with TAB is to provide you with a quick spin around TheSabre.com’s message boards for the interesting conversations and links out there in the last 24 hours. That way Sabre fans will have a quick reference guide to what we think are some of the more interesting topics and conversations on the site. We expect the feature to evolve as it ages too so suggestions are welcome.
Why “The Afternoon Break” moniker, then? Well, the thought is we’ll put this out mid-afternoon on the weekdays as a quick and easy excuse to take a short 10-minute break from work. Um, if your boss is reading this or if you’re the boss, we’re only joking. No one should take an unapproved break from work just to read The Sabre. Seriously. No really.
The measurements 6’6″ and 235 pounds are not your typical numbers for a fullback. But when Virginia needed depth at that position following the departure of transfer Ryan Cobb, the coaching staff turned to Zachary Swanson to help fill the void. Despite the somewhat unorthodox frame for a fullback, the Hoos liked Swanson’s versatility in that spot – he can fill roles as a traditional fullback as well as an H-Back and tight end, his original position at UVa.
Swanson first began to see on-field action in jumbo and goal line sets last season. Now that Max Milien and Terence Fells-Danzer have exhausted their eligibility, he figures to get more opportunities for playing time; Billy Skrobacz is the only other fullback on the roster to have appeared in games at that position.
Swanson caught 3 passes for 44 yards in the Cavaliers’ Spring Game.
“He’s in on goal line because he’s a big, physical presence. He plays fullback and he’s kind of an H-Back type and you can move him,” London said. “He can kick-out block, he can line up in the backfield with Perry [Jones] and run a lead draw, he can line up in the backfield and provide pass protection, and he can line up and fake like he’s going to block to slip out in the flat. He can run a wheel route where you get to the open space and wheel around. He made a couple of big catches out there. He’s a big target. You get him on safeties or corners or whatever it may be. Finding a guy like him with his different skill set is going to allow the offense to be more versatile.”
Just days after visiting the University of Virginia, point guard prospect Justin Miller reportedly has accepted a recruited walk-on spot with the Cavaliers. KOMU8-TV Sports Journalist Eric Blumberg and Doug Doughty of the Roanoke Times confirmed the news through Twitter, and Doughty then wrote about it in his UVa Insider column.
Miller attended Rock Bridge High School (Columbia, MO), where he was an all-district performer as a sophomore in 2008/2009. He attended UVa’s Elite Camp in the following summer, so certainly he has been on Tony Bennett’s radar for some time. A foot injury hampered the 6’1″, 185-pound floor general throughout his junior season, and he missed his entire senior season after surgery was performed on the injured foot in December of 2010.
Miller has spent this past academic year at the University of Missouri, but he did not play basketball.
Most of the University of Virginia’s 2012 class were in attendance today for the Orange/Blue Spring Game. Here are the players we confirmed to be in attendance:
Demeitre Brim (S/LB), Maurice Canady (CB/WR), Kyle Dockins (WR), Ryan Doull (OL), Adrian Gamble (WR), Eli Harold (DE), Matt Johns (QB), Sean Karl (OL), Andre Miles-Redmond (OL), Michael Mooney (OL), Kwontie Moore (LB), Michael Moore (DE), Kye Morgan (RB), Mario Nixon (WR), Max Valles (TE), Wilfred Wahee (WR/DB) and Courtnye Wynn (DE)
Recruited walk-on punter Nicholas Conte was there as well.
With respect to the class of 2013, we confirmed the following prospects:
Corwin “Turtle” Cutler (QB), Kirk Garner (ATH), DaeSean Hamilton (WR/DB), Tim Harris (DB), Maurice Hurst, Jr. (DT), Andre Levrone, Jr. (WR/DB), Brendan Marshall (QB), Reggie McGee (LB), Braxton Pfaff (OL), Doug Randolph (LB, Stanford commit), Wyatt Teller (DE)
Harris verbally committed to Virginia following the Spring Game.
Also, class of 2014 star Quin Blanding was in attendance today. He is a safety prospect with around double-digit major college offers in the fold already.
On the basketball front, potential transfer Anthony Gill was spotted in attendance at the Spring Game. Gill, a 6’8″, 235-pound freshman, is looking to transfer from the University of South Carolina. UVa is his first visit (he arrived in Charlottesville yesterday), and at this point it is not known if any other trips have been scheduled.
- Indian River (Chesapeake, VA) sophomore defensive end Andrew Brown revealed last night on Facebook that Ohio State has now come through with an offer. The 6’4″, 280-pound prospect also has offers from Georgia Tech, Illinois, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Florida, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
- Bayside (Virginia Beach, VA) defensive back/wide receiver Quin Blandinghas landed offers from Ohio State and Illinois. The 6’1″, 195-pound sophomore previously had offers from Connecticut, East Carolina, North Carolina, N.C. State, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
- Chancellor (Fredericksburg, VA) assistant coach Chris Lam provided offer updates this week on 2013 defensive back/wide receiver Chris Holmes and 2014 offensive tackle Steven Moss. South Carolina has now offered the 6’2″, 190-pound Holmes, who had previously earned offers from East Carolina, Marshall, Ohio, Old Dominion and West Virginia.
Moss, a 6’5″, 270-pound sophomore, has scored offers from Illinois and Virginia to go along with East Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
- Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) wide receiver Zack Jones is now up to two offers: Illinois and Virginia. Illinois offered earlier this week per a report by Recruit757.com.
- Also from Recruit757.com, 2014 wide receiver Jamil Kamara has now picked up Illinois to go along with previous BCS offers from Boston College, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Virginia Tech.Kamara, who played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Princess Anne High School (Virginia Beach, VA), has now transferred to Lake Taylor in Norfolk.
- Thomas Dale (Chester, VA) head coach Kevin Tucker reported earlier this week that Virginia extended an offer to 2014 LB/S CJ Reavis. Virginia Tech had offered previously.
Virginia basketball fans have an opportunity to meet NBA guard Roger Mason Jr. thanks to the UVA Club of Washington and the Washington Wizards. The two organizations have teamed up for a meet and greet event with Mason on Tuesday, April 10 following the Wizards’ game with the Orlando Magic. Mason will be available to take pictures and sign autographs. The first 200 people also receive a signed photo of Mason from his Virginia days.
For more information on this event or to buy tickets, please click here.
Mason played three seasons at UVa and helped the Hoos make the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 13.8 points per game as a Cavalier and set the career free throw percentage record at 86.9% (318-366). As a junior, he earned second-team All-ACC honors after scoring 18.6 points per game. He elected to leave Virginia early and was selected in the NBA Draft’s second round by Chicago in 2002.