Del Rio no longer in Alabama quarterback mix

Del Rio no longer in Alabama quarterback mix

January 16th, 2014 by David Paschall in Sports - College

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The race to become Alabama's next quarterback has decreased by one competitor for new Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.

Luke Del Rio, who signed last winter and redshirted this past season, announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he was transferring out of Tuscaloosa. Though he didn't play this past season, the 6-foot-2, 203-pounder often practiced as the third-stringer behind AJ McCarron and Blake Sims.

"I had an incredible year at Bama," Del Rio said. "It's sad to say that it will be my last. I'm excited for the next chapter of my life and what it will bring."

Del Rio bypassed scholarships to Oklahoma State and Oregon State in order to walk-on with the Crimson Tide. Two quarterbacks signed scholarships last winter, Cooper Bateman and Parker McLeod, while another, David Cornwell, enrolled last week.

Sims and Alec Morris, who took a handful of snaps this past season but did not attempt a pass, are the most experienced quarterbacks on Alabama's roster. Sims appeared in eight games, completing 18 of 29 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns and rushing 15 times for 61 yards.

"Don't be surprised one bit if Luke Del Rio is right in the thick of things for that quarterback spot," ESPN national recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill said earlier this month.

Tide tidbits

Kevin Steele, who was Alabama's first defensive coordinator under Nick Saban in 2007, is reportedly returning to the defensive staff. Steele was Alabama's director of player personnel this past season and would be replacing Greg Brown, who is stepping down after coaching the Crimson Tide secondary for just one year. ... Alabama announced that its A-Day spring game will be held April 19 with a 3 p.m. Eastern kickoff.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.