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The two-time defending national champions continued their recruiting hot streak by adding a commitment from Rivals250 wide receiver Cameron Sims, of Ouachita Parish High School in Monroe, La. Sims announced his commitment live on ESPNU on Saturday afternoon.
"The main factors were where will I be able to play my freshman year and showcase my talent," Sims said. "I wanted to see if I could get along with the coaches, players and fan base.
"The school I will be choosing to play next year is Alabama, Roll Tide!
"I got along with Coach Saban real well, Coach Napier. The players felt like brothers. It really just felt like home. When I went there Kenny Bell and Denzel [Devall] embraced me. I just thought I was like one of their brothers."
Sims was asked about freshmen receivers who have made an impact in Tuscaloosa.
"Seeing Amari Cooper and Kenny Bell do that, it makes me believe I can go out there and play as a freshman," he said. "I can do big things like they did."
Sims had trimmed his list to Alabama, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Southern and Southern Miss. He also has scholarship offers from schools such as Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame and USC. The decision ultimately came down to Alabama and Ole Miss.
The four-star is the second wide receiver commitment in Alabama's 2014 class. The Tide also has a commitment from Derek Kief. Alabama will continue recruiting other top receivers including Malachi Dupre, Johnnie Dixon, Travis Rudolph and Davion Hall. Sims is a major pick up for the Tide and has been at or near the top of Alabama's receiver board for several months.
Alabama wide receivers coach Billy Napier was in charge of the out-of-state prospect's recruitment. Mike Groh was the previous lead recruiter before he departed Tuscaloosa for the Chicago Bears. Napier has picked up right where Groh left off especially in the state of Louisiana. He has a few other key targets in the Monroe area in Cameron Robinson and Laurence Jones. Both prospects list their top two schools as Alabama and LSU.
"Hopefully Big Cam comes where I'm at," Sims said. "We talk about it a lot. Hopefully he will come be with me with Bama nation. Big Cam come with me."
The University of Alabama has reeled in a couple of strong receivers from the Bayou State in recent years in Kenny Bell and Raheem Falkins. Bell grew up 20 miles from Sims, and the two have a good friendship.
Alabama has been targeting big-bodied, athletic receivers with hopes of finding the next Julio Jones or Amari Cooper. The coaching staff will have plenty of size on the outside in the future with guys like Sims (6-4, 208), 2014 commitment Derek Kief (6-4, 200), Falkins (6-4, 203), Robert Foster (6-3, 190).
Sims hauled in 39 receptions in 2012 for 948 yards and eight touchdowns.