Tide quarterback Phillip Sims transferring

Rumors circulated for months. By Friday afternoon, they were confirmed. Alabama backup quarterback Phillip Sims won’t return a year after losing the starting job to AJ McCarron.

Alabama released a statement Friday afternoon announcing the decision that leaves the Tide without many options behind McCarron. In the statement, Sims called the decision “a personal matter,” and hoped to continue his college career closer to his Virginia home.

“This was a very difficult decision because I’ve had a great experience at the University of Alabama and I’m thankful for the opportunity this program provided me,” Sims said in a statement. “I want to thank Coach Saban and the coaching staff for being with me and my family at this time. I wouldn’t change anything about my decision to come to Alabama and this has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

Sims was one of the top high school quarterbacks in the nation in the fall of 2009. He arrived in Tuscaloosa in January, 2010 as an early enrollee eager to compete for the starting job one day.

He did, but McCarron ultimately earned the job early last season. Sims completed 18 of 28 total passes as a redshirt freshman while throwing two interceptions in the season-opener against Kent State.

Redshirt freshman Phillip Ely is the only scholarship quarterback on campus behind McCarron. True freshman Alex Morris is due to arrive this summer.

Sims posted the following on his Twitter page this morning:

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