Sophomore quarterback AJ McCarron and redshirt freshmen Phillip Sims are the top two quarterbacks for the Crimson Tide heading in to the 2011 spring practices.  McCarron has the edge on Sims with an extra year of experience.

McCarron was the back up to Greg McElroy in 2010, doing clean up work in the fourth quarter of games periodically.  The 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback showed flashes of a promising future, going 30-for-48 with 389 yards and 3 touchdowns.  McCarron also has a stellar quarterback rating of 151.20.

“I’m going in [spring practice] being a leader,” McCarron said. “I’m going to take this team and roll as if it’s my team already. … I think I’m really prepared. I have a lot of confidence in myself. I think that’s something you have to have as a quarterback, especially playing in the SEC.”

Phillip Sims was rated the No. 1 quarterback in the class of 2010 by ESPN.  He turned down more than 40 scholarship offers to sign with Alabama.  The Chesapeake native broke almost every record for Virginia high school football at the quarterback position, including most career passing yards.

Sims father, Jeff, said it has been difficult for Phillip to have to sit on the bench for the first time in his life.

“For a kid that never had to sit on the bench in his life and come to Tuscaloosa and have to be redshirted that’s a big difference for a kid to adjust to,” Jeff Sims said. “He likes it here. He likes the atmosphere. The fans are crazy.”

The competition is about to begin and either quarterback is capable of winning the starting position to be the signal caller for the preseason No. 2 ranked Crimson Tide.