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Report: Phillip Ely considering transfer from Alabama

Phillip Ely AP

In April of last year, Phillip Sims opted to transfer out of the Alabama football program thanks to AJ McCarron holding a firm grip on the starting quarterback job.

Nine months later, and with McCarron continuing to build on a legacy that includes two straight BCS titles, another Phillip at the position is apparently looking to pull a Sims as well.

According to Josh Newberg of, Phillip Ely is exploring the possibility of as transfer.  Specifically, Newberg reports, Ely is looking at USF as a potential future destination.

If Ely were to transfer to another FBS school, he would be forced to sit out the 2013 season.  He would then have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2014.

Neither of the schools, obviously, will respond to the rumored development.

After redshirting as a true freshman in 2011, Ely played in six games last season.  He completed three-of-four passes for 42 yards and a touchdown in very limited duty.  Ely was listed as the No. 2 QB the first three weeks of the season, but after that was listed as the co-backup along with redshirt sophomore Blake Sims, who attempted 10 passes in limited action.

Not only is McCarron firmly entrenched as the starter for another season, and Sims inching ahead in the backup battle, the Tide is bringing in two quarterbacks as part of their 2013 recruiting class.  Included in that mini-group is Cooper Bateman, a four-star prospect who is the No. 11 pro-style QB in the country and the No. 1 player in the state of Utah.

Ely was a three-star member of the Tide’s 2011 recruiting class, rated by as the No. 20 pro-style QB coming out of high school in Tampa, Fla.

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27 Responses to “Report: Phillip Ely considering transfer from Alabama”
  1. rolldat says: Jan 26, 2013 10:08 AM

    Can’t blame the young man, he wants a chance to play.

  2. rolltide510 says: Jan 26, 2013 10:18 AM

    Don’t be fooled. While this might -seem- like a typical occurrence in college football, this is the result of $aban’s oversigning practices. Ely is being unceremoniously cut from the team, his dreams dashed.

  3. kozbee says: Jan 26, 2013 11:39 AM

    Bama recruiting a stable of QBs,this sometimes is the results,every player wants to play.Goodluck Ely you will have two seasons to be what you want to be.Teams has in the past had players jump ship due to not getting that chance to prove themselves.This not being Bama fault but the recruits for not observing the stable a team has.

  4. jason1214 says: Jan 26, 2013 11:56 AM

    Ahh yes the infamous oversigning argument…is the why Phillip Sims transferred too? tired excuse

  5. lasseter1113 says: Jan 26, 2013 12:48 PM

    Ask yourself, do these people that go on and on bitching about Saban’s recruitment techniques, such as grey shirting, really care about these young men or do they really just hate Saban??? My money is on the latter…

    It’s the same people that read an Alabama article and go down through the comment section giving a thumbs down to anything positive said about the Alabama.

  6. lasseter1113 says: Jan 26, 2013 12:51 PM

    Take off the ‘the’ I wrote before Alabama at the bottom my comment, that was an accident. I really wish we could edit our comments on here. Oh well..

  7. jason1214 says: Jan 26, 2013 1:11 PM

    Lass, you hit the nail right on the head. People can hate Saban all they want….the man can coach.

  8. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 26, 2013 1:47 PM

    It’s known as competion. You can only have a finite number of athletic scholarships. Ely is transferring because he wants to play. The guy ahead of him has quarterbacked two national championship squads, has a REAL girlfriend, and is coming back for a chance at a third national championship

    Over signing by position is a relatively new as a gripe against well coached, very successful programs. Over signing was a real problem in the 60’s when schools signed players to keep them from going to a rival. DKR was notorious for signing 120 recruits just to keep them from going to rivals. Read Gary Shaw’s “Meat on the Hoof” and you’ll see what actual over signing was like.

    So I guess every kid that transfers is a victim of over signing? Best of luck Phillip!

  9. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 26, 2013 1:54 PM

    I guess Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M will be the next coach accused of over signing. 8 wide receivers are projected to sign with A&M this year. Never mind,
    career ending injuries, grades, or the desire to play as being factors in securing as many skill position athletes as possible.

    Recruiting is crap shoot at best and you can really only evaluate a recruiting class by their junior year as to if it was a successful recruiting class.

    If a coach goes lean at a position at a skill position and injuries happen, then the coach is a bum for not
    covering his needs. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t

  10. fnc111 says: Jan 26, 2013 2:23 PM

    Over signing and cut. Lie all you want Bama fans but sooner or later the kids will figure out that it’s not worth it to go to the Capitol of cheating.

  11. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 26, 2013 4:09 PM

    fnc111 wrote on: Jan 26, 2013 2:23 PM

    Over signing and cut. Lie all you want Bama fans but sooner or later the kids will figure out that it’s not worth it to go to the Capitol of cheating.

    No, that would be either the U, or the University of Southern California. Take your pick. Every quality football program does it. You think Urban Meyer going after the University of Oregon recruits isn’t causing a pucker factor in Columbus right now among existing signed football scholarship players? Every quality program does it., particularly second year coaches who want their recruits in their system as quickly as possible.

    Even established coaches do it. Take Mack Brown at Texas. From 2006 through 2012, mack supposedly recruited top ten classes for the football field. Yet kids leave the program because of “oversigning” or “greyshirting” every year because they don’t fit the Texas system. Texas Quarterback Gilbert was a can’t miss 5 star recruit for Texas that transferred out because Mack over signed QB’s McCoy and Ash. It was and is all about competition. Texas passed on RGIII and Johnny Football because of the “oversignage” of QB’s and Mack wanted the last two
    Heisman winners to play defense.

    A Major program Head Coach that doesn’t sign an excess of skill player talent will soon have
    one word describe his tenure,”former”.

  12. fatcamper says: Jan 26, 2013 5:28 PM

    USF fan checking in. Normally I’d take this opportunity to bash Saban, purely out of hatred/jealousy, but today I can only thank him. USF is in desperate need of a QB and Ely would be a huge catch for us at a position of need. As I’m dreaming, I’ll cross my fingers for a hardship waiver if Ely gets back to Tampa.

    It’s doubtful anybody here follows USF recruiting, but since Taggart has landed on campus things are looking up.

  13. thraiderskin says: Jan 27, 2013 2:41 AM

    Wisconsin loves to take others’ un-needed QBs, why not?

  14. rolltide510 says: Jan 27, 2013 12:18 PM

    Some of you are so naive. Any time a player leaves Alabama its because he was cut to make room for over signing.

    Sure, a QB at Ohio State might see a crowded depth chart and little chance to play and transfer to a smaller school, but at Alabama this means he was cut. Remember, the only reason Alabama wins championships is because they have the ability to manager the roster in such an unethical manner.

  15. dcroz says: Jan 27, 2013 1:19 PM

    For those of you taking rolltide510 seriously: he’s being sarcastic and beating the inevitable double-standard haters to the punch with the oversigning/grayshirting arguments. I gave both comments a thumb-up for that reason, not because those who seriously think that way have a valid point, for they don’t.

    Coaches crying about oversigning are not “doing it the right way;” that is nothing more than a cop-out for not wanting to work hard enough to get the recruits they need and/or keeping the verbal commits they have in place until National Signing Day. Coaches like this would rather spend their afternoons out on the golf course than on the phone with recruits or flying to visit them. Then they want to whine when they get their asses kicked by the Sabans and Meyers of the game because they got outhustled.

    Coaching at the college level might be a fraternity, but it sure as hell ain’t a country club. Those that figure that out succeed; those that do not go back to becoming assistants–or ESPN analysts.

  16. dcroz says: Jan 27, 2013 1:21 PM

    Alabama actually has three QBs coming in. Jack Del Rio’s son enrolled in classes this spring and will be a walk-on.

  17. cdunn43 says: Jan 27, 2013 1:39 PM

    @rolltide510 You make me laugh. So cutting players is unethical now? Dashing someones dreams because they aren’t good enough to play? This is not “Little League”! All these coaches are horrible people because they didn’t even come see me play. My dream was crushed, I so wanted to play in the NFL! Maybe Saban should just bench the 2 time NC QB and start Ely, oh wait, that would be crushing AJ’s dreams.

  18. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 27, 2013 7:20 PM


    roltide 510 isn’t a Tide supporter. He is a troll.

    He is one of those kids that never competed, got a trophy at the end of the season and sat on his fat a@@ drinking all the juicy juices and snacks so the other kids didn’t have any after THEY played and won the game.

  19. bduncan81 says: Jan 27, 2013 11:03 PM

    Yea yea all da oversigning talk now huh. Well wateva, hell I’ll b mad 2 if I had 2 deal wit Saban winning da last 3 out of
    4 national titles. Roll Tide

  20. idolized1 says: Jan 28, 2013 2:20 AM

    I am not a tide fan, and I am not an SEC blowhard.

    What I am is a fan of college football and a fan of the game.

    And boy oh boy do people love to hate winners.

    The NCAA, The University of Alabama, and even your favorite school are all businesses first and foremost.

    If all they cared about was being an institution of higher learning our tuition rates wouldn’t all be through the roof and they wouldn’t charge an arm and a leg to see a football game.

    Even if this poor man was “cut” it was because the man being paid to put his employers program in the best position possible to win saw fit to do so.

    Don’t act like your guys have never done anything unpopular for the good of the program/team.

    If other schools are sick of Saban and Alabama winning then they should beat them.

  21. olufemiadedeji says: Jan 28, 2013 12:30 PM

    he has to do whats best for the moment and probably down the road,unless MCarron gets hurt,he will not play.and other considerations?He has to worry about the current backups who are challenging for the backup position and the incoming class.It will be good for any kid who wants to play immediately but elsewhere.he has just one other thing to worry about.if he transfer,he will have to wait until next year to play,upon that situation,having only two years of eligibility left.i think he should play it out.that’s his best options at the moment.I understand the frustrations but that’s what it is.Life will never be perfect,even if you were a billionaire.

  22. poppyitis says: Jan 28, 2013 1:45 PM

    I am probably the ONLY person who feels that all football recruits should go to college to get a degree. With Bama’s graduation rate around 60%, all athletics need to be held to the same standards as regular students and if they cannot maintain at least a ‘C’ in their grades, THEY DO NOT PLAY SPORTS. The parents who let their students go to Bama knowing they will probably never graduate should be ashamed. LIFE IS NOT FOOTBALL, Bama’s graduation rate just shows that Mr. Saban has NO INTEREST in his players graduating. Shame on him. I often wonder if parents realize that in 2005, 2006 and 2007 that Bama had to vacate all their wins due to their football scandal? However, this is not Mr. Saban’s fault as he was not their at that time. But, the present graduation rate is HIS FAULT. Again, if they cannot maintain an acceptable GPA, they do not play. We shall see how much longer Bama can go without having another NCAA investigation. With only 3% of all college football players making the Pro’s, this should be enough for these athletics to want GET A DEGREE. As for players transferring, that is really avoiding the issue, if they cannot play at Bama, they will have competition wherever they go.

  23. poppyitis says: Jan 28, 2013 2:04 PM

    The idea of over signing will soon be a thing OF the past as the NCAA is drafting a resolution that all athletic scholarships are a 4 year scholarship, NOT A YEARLY ONE! . They are also instigating a rule that all athletics must maintain a “C’ average or be ineligible to play. GREAT NEWS FOR COLLEGE SPORTS.

  24. timothyf7 says: Jan 28, 2013 3:57 PM

    I don’t know where Poppytits get his figures… but here is an article posted last August in reference to his false statement!
    UA has record-breaking academic year
    Tuscaloosa News – Aug. 18
    As the University of Alabama gets the new academic year underway next week, the Crimson Tide athletics department is not only coming off a banner season in the athletic arena, but a record-breaking year in the classroom as well. “In a year during which we accomplished so much and reached new heights in so many areas, I am exceedingly pleased with the success our student-athletes enjoyed academically,” UA Director of Athletics Mal Moore said. “As we prepare for the start of another school year, I want to say how proud I am of the focus our student-athletes and coaches put on academics and the efforts Jon Dever and our entire academic support staff put into helping each student-athlete reach their full potential.” As a group, Alabama’s more than 525 student-athletes averaged better than a collective 3.0 grade-point average for the 2011-12 academic year, including 48 who maintained a career GPA of 4.0. Overall, five teams posted GPAs above 3.5 for the second year in a row. More than 140 student-athletes earned their degrees over the last year. Alabama currently graduates 74 percent of its student-athletes while the general student population graduates at rate of 66 percent. Alabama’s national championship football team had 21 graduates, one shy of the BCS National Championship Game record the Tide set in 2009. Football also had the second highest graduation rate among schools in the final 2011 BCS top 10 and has posted the second-highest graduation rate in the SEC each of the past three years.

  25. dcroz says: Jan 29, 2013 8:40 AM


    As the old saying goes: you are entitled to your opinions, but not to your own facts. In addition to what timothyf7 posted above, let me add that the graduation rate among football players has increased each year that Saban has been in Tuscaloosa, from just barely over 50% in Mike Shula’s last season to around 70% now. Also, the grayshirting is exactly about academics, as those are the ones who are being given the chance to improve their grades before being allowed to play football. So Saban not only does not deserve your shame for not caring about academics, he is just as concerned about his players’ classroom performance as he is their on-the-field performance.

    Oh, and as far as the mandatory 4-year scholarships go: terrible idea. I know those who dwell in the land of unicorns and rainbows like to think that this is eminently fair to student-athletes and will end the “roster management” of people like Saban, but all it will do is guarantee that graduation rates will plummet across the board. If there is no risk of losing your scholarship, then why worry about going to class in the first place? Just hang out in your room all day playing your Wii and go to practice when you need to do so; no need to worry about those pesky lectures. And if students on academic scholarships are expected to maintain a certain level of performance in order to keep them from year to year, why shouldn’t those on athletic scholarships?

  26. florida727 says: Jan 29, 2013 10:29 AM

    Survival of the fittest. If he was good enough to oust McCarron, he wouldn’t dream of leaving a program like Alabama.

    Truth be told, it’s a heck of an accomplishment just to get a scholarship from a school/program like Alabama’s. That alone far exceeds what 99.9% of high school football players will ever accomplish.

    Unfortunately, he also wants to play. I’m sure that just like every other kid, his dream still is to play in the NFL. Can’t do that sitting behind a two-time national championship winning QB. I think he’s smart. He learned from Saban (and McCarron), and now he’s giving himself two years of playing at a decent program to showcase what he’s got to the play-for-pay guys. I wish him luck.

  27. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 29, 2013 11:29 PM

    poppy, poppy, poppy. You picked those “facts” out of ehone’s a@@.

    Some actual facts regarding an NCAA athletic scholarships for all sports,men and women’s.

    (1.) The actual scholarship is reissued on an annual basis by the offering institution,

    (2.) The student has to make measurable academic progress each academic year and maintain an NCAA approved grade point average, usually a 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. That is what makes an active redshirt program so viable. The kids get to let their bodies mature, hit the weight room, take deer antler, ( just kidding) and get their grades in line in their selected major. A young man I trained and coached is at KSU, a red shirt freshman with some snap, he went early, spring of last year. He placed out with 12 hours in AP courses, took 12 in the spring, 9 in the summer, 14 in the fall, and taking
    14 this semester. That’s 61 hours before he even starts playing football next fall for KSU. With an
    additional 9 this summer, he’s already at 70 hours with 4 years of eligibility. With luck, he’ll be going into his junior year in academics This is done at every major program

    (3.) Leaving a program early or transferring out affects the issuing university’s graduation rates for a rolling six year average,

    Bama, ND, PSU and every other every major college program does look out for their wards, they have to, it’s their product that they put on the field, in an arena or any other venue.

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