After recently sitting down for an evaluation with Alabama coaches, former Plant High quarterback Phillip Ely has decided to transfer from the Crimson Tide to Toledo, effective immediately.
“It was a business decision that had to be made,” said Ely, a sophomore who will have two years of eligibility remaining at Toledo after sitting out the required season in 2013 under NCAA transfer rules. “I was very thankful with how Alabama was upfront with me.
“I feel great about the decision. I'm very happy.”
Ely appeared in six games as a redshirt freshman last season for the Crimson Tide, backing up A.J. McCarron. He completed 3-of-4 passes, including a 27-yard touchdown against Mississippi State.
But McCarron, a senior, remains the starter after leading the Crimson Tide to two straight BCS championships. The battle to back up McCarron is crowded, including junior Blake Sims, redshirt freshman Alec Morris, new recruits Cooper Bateman and Parker McLeod, and freshman walk-on Luke Del Rio.
In 2008 and 2009 as a sophomore and junior at Plant, Ely helped the Panthers win two state titles, and as a senior in 2010 led them to the state final before losing to Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.
Ely finished his junior and senior high school seasons at Plant with a 27-3 record as a starter and more than 6,300 career passing yards and 60 touchdown passes.
Ely is among four quarterbacks to lead Plant to state titles: Robert Marve (2006), Aaron Murray (2008) and James Few (2011) are the others.