Earlier in the day we got the news that Blake Sims was going to delay his enrollment at Alabama, but according to the most recent update, citing Sims' high school coach, he may not be waiting until January after all. Per the Tuscaloosa News:
Sims has yet to academically qualify for freshman eligibility, and Sims' father, Sonny, told Rivals.com that his son would defer his enrollment to January if he meets eligibility standards this summer. Red Elephants coach Bruce Miller, however, said he believes Sims may not have to wait that long.
"I believe he still has a good chance to get enrolled in time to be at Alabama this fall. He's got some academic issues he's working out, but from what I know, it looks like he's going to be able to come in with his freshman class," said Miller. "I talked to our academic advisor (Wednesday), and she said it looks like he's going to make it."
Obviously there is a direct conflict between those two statements. So what's the deal? Sims' father says that he will delay his enrollment to January, while his coach -- after consulting with his academic advisor -- seems to be saying that Sims will merely not enroll in June (and perhaps July) like most of his fellow signees will, but that he should still probably be in Tuscaloosa by August. Clearly, we all hope his coach is correct, but this is a factual misunderstanding at this point and no one really knows which one is correct.
The good news, though, is that no one is talking of Sims going the JUCO route. He is almost certain to redshirt in 2010 regardless, so not having him on campus this Fall is not a major hit. Having him go to junior college, on the other hand, is another story. That's the absolute worst case scenario for any recruit... the overwhelming majority don't end up at the school that they originally signed with, a reality made only more difficult at Alabama with Saban's de facto early-enroll requirement, and their eligibility clock starts running immediately. Fortunately, no one is mentioning that with Sims at this point. Don't let that bit of good news get lost in all of this.
Either way, I will say that his situation sounds very much like we had a year ago with Eddie Lacy. Apparently Sims is going to have to re-take two classes this summer -- classes that he has already taken, and passed, earlier in his high school career, but he will need to make a better grade this time around to improve his core GPA -- and if he makes the grades in those he will be good to go. That worked out last year with Lacy, let's just hope it works out this year with Sims as well.