Patience pays; Blake Sims knows that all to well. He rode the pine for four years in Tuscaloosa, learning from the sideline as he watched some of college football’s best players ever win two national championships for Alabama.
Then, in 2014, he received his chance. Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin named Sims the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback. From there all he did was impress, leading Alabama to 11 regular season wins and only one loss. His play helped propel the Tide into the SEC Championship game, which resulted in a beat down of Missouri, and then the inaugural College Football Playoff. The year didn’t end with a championship like Sims and Alabama hoped for, but it was still very impressive. Along the way he set Alabama’s single-season passing yards record.
Despite the fantastic season, Sims was not picked in the 2015 NFL Draft. Once again he’ll have to display patience as he works out for teams in hopes of a free agent signing.
And while he could have taken his talents elsewhere for his college career, where he would have probably received more playing time to better position himself for the draft, Sims wouldn’t change anything. He penned a heartfelt thank you to Alabama, coaches and fans stating as much. The letter, which you can read excerpts from below, was originally published by Bleacher Report.
I went to the University of Alabama to become a man. When he was recruiting me, Coach Saban gave me his word that when I left, I would leave a grown man with a degree.
He kept his word.
Coach Saban was like a father figure to me. Words can’t explain how much he has taught me about life and how much better prepared I am for success than when I showed up in Tuscaloosa. Whenever I was wrong, he would let me know “Blake, that’s not the way that a man acts. That’s not how a professional quarterback acts.” Our relationship could not be stronger.
I want to say thank you to Coach Saban and all my teammates and former teammates for believing in me and always having my back.
Those guys taught me that hard work pays off, were always there for me no matter the outcome. I will forever appreciate that.
I also want to say thank you to Coach Kiffin for everything he has done for me. He taught me how to be a quarterback and had my back when I was down and out. He was always there for me and gave me great advice. I knew I could go talk to him about anything, no matter what the situation was.
And to the Crimson Tide fans, keep being the best fanbase in the country. Trust in Coach Saban and whoever he starts at any position. Believe in that player as you believed in me. I’m a prime example of what happens when fans get behind somebody and believe in them.
After last year, I wish I could play another season in Tuscaloosa, but God has a plan for me. He gave me an opportunity, and I took advantage of it. If I had to re-do my career at Alabama, I wouldn’t change a thing.
To read Sims’ entire thank you, visit Bleacher Report.