Alabama's Nick Saban pens letter to NFL scouts for QB Phillip Sims, who transferred in 2012

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - NOVEMBER 10: Quarterback Phillip Sims #14 of the Virginia Cavaliers throws the ball as defensive lineman Anthony Chickillo #71 of the Miami Hurricanes chases at Scott Stadium on November 10, 2012 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Quarterback Phillip Sims may have transferred from Alabama in 2012, but he never lost the respect of coach Nick Saban.

Saban wrote a letter to NFL scouts, a letter that was obtained by Rivals site, which painted a glowing picture of Sims, who has been working out for NFL scouts as the draft approaches.

"I believe Phillip Sims has the mental acumen and physical tools to be an asset for a team in the National Football League," Saban wrote. "He is hard-working, driven, tough and a coachable player."

Sims, who was rated the No. 2 pro-style quarterback prospect in 2010, spent two seasons with the Tide before losing the starting quarterback race to AJ McCarron and opting to transfer.

Sims spent a year at Virginia, made four starts and threw for 1,263 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012 before being declared academically ineligible in May 2013.

Sims told that as he was weighing his options that summer, Saban opened the door for him to come back to Alabama. Alabama wasn’t offering a scholarship for the 2013 season he had to sit out, but Saban did say he’d have the opportunity to compete for the starting role in 2014.

Sims passed, took a scholarship at Division II Winston-Salem State, sat out the 2013 season, and went on to throw for 1,560 yards and 15 touchdowns with just four interceptions while splitting time this past season.

However, there were no sour feelings between Sims and Alabama, and after Sims exhausted his eligibility, he kept in contact. That contact as paid off.

Sims was not invited to the NFL combine last month, but did have a stellar pro day at Wake Forest and piqued the interest of many NFL scouts. There’s no doubt that Saban’s words will only help Sims’ cause.

"I found him to be a quick study who was always ready and eager to learn," Saban wrote. "He is a special young man who always followed direction and did things the right way. He was a natural leader both in the classroom and on the field, won numerous Scout Team Player of the Week awards, and was well liked by his peers and coaches. Phillip also served as a member of our leadership team and won the Ozzie Newsome Award.

"I stand behind Phillip and wholeheartedly endorse him as a player and as a man."

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