Alabama quarterback transferring to Toledo

Rising sophomore Phillip Ely is leaving The University of Alabama and plans to transfer to Toledo, the backup quarterback announced via Twitter Wednesday May 29.

“Ready to make a change in my life for the better and I thank everyone who has supported me through this process. Go Rockets!” Ely tweeted early Wednesday morning.

The former three-star prospect was the only quarterback Alabama signed in the 2011 recruiting class but was forced to sit on the bench behind starter AJ McCarron throughout his career. Ely only completed three of four passes for 42 yards and a touchdown in 2012 as a redshirt freshman.

The arrival of three new quarterbacks this spring likely pushed Ely toward this decision, with the competition behind McCarron increasing more and more each offseason. Cooper Bateman, Parker McLeod and Luke Del Rio all were early enrollees at UA this spring and participated in the Crimson Tide’s A-Day game.

They are joined in the race for the future starting job by junior Blake Sims and redshirt freshman Alec Morris, who completed 10-of-18 passes for 141 in the A-Day game.

But Ely didn’t leave Tuscaloosa without expressing his gratitude toward his former team.

“And a special thanks to my former teammates at ‘Bama. I love and will miss y’all!! Good luck this year and go get number 3!!” he tweeted.

Ely ‘s decision boiled down to four teams, with Ohio State, Illinois and Boston College missing out on the former Alabama player. He will be forced to sit out the 2013 season but will be eligible to play in 2014.