While one football program in the state of Alabama shuffled off this mortal coil, another has greatly benefited, personnel-wise, from its demise.
Wednesday, Cody Clements confirmed to al.com that he has decided to transfer to South Alabama for his final season of football. The starting quarterback became the fourth former UAB football player to transfer to the the Sun Belt team since that university’s administration decided to kill off the Blazers football program. A day later, running back D.J. Vinson, also entering his final season of eligibility, became the fifth.
All five of the UAB-to-USA transfers come from the offensive side of the ball. The fact that offensive coordinator Bryant Vincent made the same move played a significant role in the mass migration to the Jaguars.
“Definitely I would say first of all, coach Vincent,” Clements said. “That was my main goal coming out of all this mess at UAB was to follow him if I could. He’s a great coach and I love playing for him.
“Then I got up there this past weekend and saw the facilities and housing and was able to hang out with the guys. I knew that was a good spot for me to go and to finish out my career.”
Clements started all 12 games for the Blazers in 2014, completing more than 65 percent of his passes for 2,227 yards and 14 touchdowns. He’ll get the opportunity to start at his new school as the Jaguars’ starter last season, Brandon Bridge, is out of eligibility.
While Vinson finished second on the team in rushing with 670 yards, he told al.com in confirming his move to USA that he will play wide receiver. He had 15 receptions coming out of the backfield in 2014.
All five of the USA transfers, and every other former UAB football player for that matter, will be eligible to play immediately in 2015 thanks to a waiver from the NCAA.