CHATTANOOGA -- In 2016 Aabama led the NFL with 65 former players in the league. It's not surprising, but that list didn't include the quarterback who led the tide to 2014 National Semifinals. Blake Sims plans to change that.
The 2015 NFL Draft came and went without Alabama grad Blake Sims. All 256 picks. Reality sank in for Sims, leaving him second guessing his decision to stick to quarterback when NFL teams suggested he switch to running back.
Sims said, "that was another learning experience that the game is bigger than you. I love the game of football, if i had to change my position to play, I was willing to do it."
He did it and it earned him a short-lived spot on the Atlanta Falcons roster as a running back in September of 2016.
Another learning experience as described by Sims, "my journey at the falcons just woke me up. Helped me understand what I've been doing wasn't good enough, I needed to go an extra step."
The Atlanta area native had a taste of it and wanted more. Helping fuel that fire was his ultimate motivation his daughter Kyla.
"Being home, being with my daughter and my father, it reminded me of the struggle they went through. Looking at my daughter, seeing how much better I wanted her life to be, it started making me more hungry."
Tampa Bay saw that fire. the Bucs signed Sims to the practice squad four months ago and he's been training non-stop at D1 in Chattanooga with an Alabama sized chip on his shoulder.
"I'm hungry man, I've got a lot of people to prove wrong and I've got a lot of people that helped me on my journey, I want them to see that their hard work they put in for me didn't go to waste."
Sims will report to Tampa Bay this weekend because the Bucs can start off season workouts on Monday, April 17.