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Blake Sims Makes the Grades

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Good news on the academic front this morning, specifically regarding 2010 signee Blake Sims. The news has been unofficially making the rounds today, but we are now beginning to get some confirmations. Shane Youngblood of 'BamaOnline writes the following on his Twitter page:

Tide 2010 signee Blake Sims reports two A's and a B-plus in summer courses, making him academically eligible.

Still to be decided if Sims is going to enroll this fall or in January.

Note: hat tip to Doc Fumbles for posting a portion of this in a fanshot.

Now, again, this one is still in the early stages so there is still a fair amount of uncertainty here. Sims has made the grades apparently, but even though Youngblood writes that he is "academically eligible," I would imagine he will still have to get his transcripts and standardized test scores officially approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse. That shouldn't be an issue, mind you, but even so it's a probably still a technical hurdle that must be cleared.

The question of whether or not Sims will enroll this Fall (which really means he'll get to campus sometime next week) is a bit more complicated, and will likely depend on whether or not we have room to take him and still be under the 85-scholarship limit come Fall camp. On the one hand we would certainly like for him to be with the team this Fall, but on the other hand he is going to report late and, after playing quarterback in high school, he will be facing a steeper-than-usual acclimation period. Combined, that makes a redshirt likely even if he does report with the team this Fall, so in many ways the enroll now / greyshirt issue is a bit of a moot point.

All in all, though, it's more good news on the academic front. Saban has signed highly-touted recruiting classes, but he has also done so by signing kids who could pass the academic muster. We signed 26 players in the 2010 class, and with the good news coming on Sims, that leaves at most one possible academic casualty (Deion Belue). And this all comes one year after having 26 of the 27 signees from the 2009 recruiting class qualify academically. Again, Saban is getting it done academically on the recruiting trails.

And speaking of Belue and the possibility of Sims taking a greyshirt, those two things may very well be related. Belue is still on the fence academically, and there is no real news to report on him. However, assuming that Belue does qualify and we are down to one final roster spot remaining for the Fall, that spot will almost certainly go to Belue and Sims will greyshirt. Why? Simple, Belue is a cornerback and given our lack of depth at the position, there is really no way we could use our last remaining roster spot on a likely redshirt candidate by forcing a true corner to greyshirt. Belue might not be a worldbeater at cornerback this Fall -- and he too will be hindered by the late arrival -- but even so he would be a warm body and we don't have too many of those in the defensive backfield at the moment. In a close race, he likely takes priority over Sims.

Finally, to close, some highlights of Sims from his days at Gainesville High School: