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NCAA: New UVa QB Sims Can Play Right Away

The quarterback position just got a bit more crowded for the Virginia football team this season.

Alabama quarterback Phillip Sims (14) looks for a receiver during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kent State on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The quarterback position just got a bit more crowded for the Virginia football team this season.

The school announced on Wednesday that the NCAA has granted Alabama transfer Phillip Sims a waiver that makes the Chesapeake native eligible to play in 2012. If the waiver had been denied, the redshirt sophomore would have been forced to sit out the season.

Sims will have three years of eligibility at Virginia.

"I am pleased we were able to work with the NCAA to get a resolution regarding this matter," Virginia coach Mike London said in a release issued by the school. "We look forward to having Phillip and the rest of our team in camp this August."

Sims announced his decision to leave Alabama in April, after spending the 2011 season as AJ McCarron's back-up. He finished the year 18-of-28 for 163 yards with a pair of interceptions, as the Crimson Tide won the BCS national championship.

"The reason for me leaving is nothing more than a personal matter," Sims said in a release issued by Alabama at the time. "I just need to be closer to home to support my family at this time and that needs to be my priority right now."

Virginia announced Sims' addition in early May. He's been enrolled at the school since June.

Virginia returns its top two quarterbacks from 2011 -- starter Michael Rocco, a rising junior, and true sophomore backup David Watford. Early enrollee freshman Greyson Lambert was the third quarterback in camp this past spring, and the class of incoming freshman also includes another quarterback, Matt Johns of Pennsylvania.

Sims was regarded by ESPNU as the top high school quarterback by in the country when he was coming out of Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake in 2010. Sims graduated as the state of Virginia's all-time leader in both passing yards (10,725) and touchdown passes (119). He chose the Crimson Tide over a list of schools that included UVa, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida State, and Clemson.

Scout.com rated Sims as a five-star recruit, while Rivals and ESPNU both gave Sims four stars.


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