Blake Sims led Alabama to the SEC Championship. And now the Tide’s quarterback has assisted in winning over star linebacker Adonis Thomas, who committed to UA following a visit from Nick Saban on Monday.
Since de-committing from Florida earlier this fall, the 6-4, 220-pound Thomas, of Central Gwinnett HS in Lawrenceville, GA, appeared to be lock for Alabama. It was discussions with Sims that helped seal the deal for the Tide.
“You get kids taking visits and these schools set them up with players,” Central Gwinnett head coach Todd Wofford says. “Being that I know Blake so well, because I coached him when he was in high school, I made sure that Blake talked to Adonis.
“Blake had nothing but great things to say about the whole program, the coaching staff, the campus, the school, everything.
“If there’s anybody that could’ve said anything negative, it would’ve been someone who had to wait four years to get his chance to play. So when Blake had all of those great things to say, that made all of us feel comfortable with Alabama, because I knew we could trust Blake and trust his judgment.”
Of his decision, Thomas says, “Alabama just seemed like a good fit for me. I felt really good about Alabama the times I’ve visited and I felt like I’d fit in with their program.
“I’ve got a real good relationship with the coaching staff, Coach Saban and Coach Smart. We talk on a regular basis. We talk about things outside of football and recruiting. I like that and I’m comfortable with them, so I feel real good about Alabama. They develop you as a person and as a football player. I think that’s very important.”
Alabama plans to use Thomas as an inside linebacker. This season he finished with 124 tackles, five sacks and a fumble recovery.
“He’s special on the field and off the field,” Wofford says. “As a player, you’re talking about a kid that’s 6-4, 220 pounds and runs a 4.5 40. He’s the type of linebacker everybody is looking for. When you’re playing these spread offenses, you don’t have to sub him out.
“He still has so much room to grow physically. You’re talking about a kid that could be 240 by next year and not lose any speed. I think the sky is the limit for him. In the classroom, he’s a 3.4 GPA student. He takes academics seriously.”
Thomas says his commitment to Alabama is solid. He will make an official to UA in January. He’s not sure if he’ll visit other schools.
Tide Players Honored in Birmingham
The Alabama football team held its annual award banquet Sunday evening at The Cahaba Grand Conference Center.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban addressed an audience that included members of the team, coaching staff, administration and support staff following the awards session in which he recapped the 2014 season and stated the goals for the upcoming semifinal game in the College Football Playoff at the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
The Crimson Tide named four captains on Sunday with Landon Collins, Amari Cooper, Jalston Fowler and Blake Sims selected. The complete list of award winners is as follows:

Unsung Hero Award
To the player who has made significant contributions to the success of the team and received the least recognition for it: Jarrick Williams, Denzel Devall, Leon Brown, Kenyan Drake

Outstanding Senior Scholar
To the senior with the highest GPA: Nick Perry, Arie Kouandjio

Commitment to Academic Excellence
To the player who has demonstrated the greatest commitment and achievement in his academic endeavors during the previous year: Denzel Devall, Adam Griffith, Jonathan Allen, JK Scott, O.J. Howard, Geno Smith

Iron Man Award
To the player(s) who have shown the most dedication to the individual and team goals of the Crimson Tide’s year-round strength and conditioning program: Ryan Anderson, Derrick Henry, Brandon Greene, D.J. Pettway

Most Inspiring Player
To the player who affects the whole team by his attitude as well as his performance (voted on by the players): Blake Sims

Pat Trammel Award
To a senior player whose character and contributions to the Alabama Football Team most personify the All-American youth of today and has reflected qualities of Integrity, Character, Importance of Academics and Inspirational Leadership during their time at Alabama: Brandon Ivory, Brian Vogler

Outstanding Defensive Performer
To the player with the most tackles/points: Landon Collins, Trey DePriest

Up-Front Award
To the outstanding lineman from each unit: Arie Kouandjio, Cam Robinson, A’Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed

Defensive Achievement Award
To the player who has played a critical role in the effectiveness of this unit: Cyrus Jones, Reggie Ragland, Xzavier Dickson, Eddie Jackson

Offensive Achievement Award
To the player who has played a critical role in the effectiveness of this unit: Austin Shepherd, Derrick Henry, Amari Cooper, DeAndrew White

President’s Award
To a player from each unit who has shown perseverance in making outstanding contributions to the team’s success
Ryan Kelly, T.J. Yeldon, Jalston Fowler, Blake Sims

Jefferson County Distinguished
Alumnus Award
A former player who has exemplified the principles, values, character and attitude that make a person successful either during a particular life experience or over a period of time: Wayne Davis

Special Teams Player of the Year Award
To the most valuable special teams player: Christion Jones, JK Scott, Adam Griffith, Dillon Lee

Offensive Player of the Year Award
To the most valuable offensive player: Amari Cooper, Blake Sims

Defensive Player of the Year Award
To the most valuable defensive player: Trey DePriest, Landon Collins

Most Valuable Player Award
To the overall most valuable player on the team (voted on by the players)Amari Cooper

Captain Awards
To the players elected by their teammates as permanent team captains (voted on by the players): Landon Collins, Amari Cooper, Jalston Fowler, Blake Sims

*UA Media Relations Contributed To This Story

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