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Gainesville High grad Sims signs with Atlanta Falcons' practice squad
Alabama quarterback Blake Sims runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 21, 2015, in Indianapolis. - photo by JULIO CORTEZ

Gainesville High graduate and former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims is back in the National Football League after signing with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday as a running back on the practice squad.

Sims beat out Jacob Coker for the Alabama starting quarterback job as a fifth-year senior in 2014. Sims completed 252-of-391 passes for 3,487 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2014. He rushed for 350 yards and seven scores as well.

Sims took the Crimson Tide to the first College Football Playoff, but the top-ranked Tide lost to eventual champion Ohio State, 42-35, in the semifinal.

Sims was not selected in the 2015 NFL Draft and was offered a tryout with the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins — both as a running back. After neither team offered him a contract, Sims spent time in the Canadian Football League.

Sims led the Red Elephants to the 2009 state championship game as a senior quarterback. That season, he threw for 2,280 yards and 30 touchdowns, rushed for 872 yards and 13 touchdowns, caught four passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns, and scored three times on special teams.

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