The battle to replace Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy seems to be set this spring for AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims.
One guy hoping to work his way into the conversation is Tampa Plant senior Phillip Ely.
The Alabama verbal commitment is on course to graduate in December and will enroll next semester, Panthers coach Robert Weiner said Saturday.
Ely took an official visit to the Ole Miss game last month, a visit Weiner said Ely "really enjoyed."
Ely led the Panthers to the Class 5A state title in 2009, and seems to be gaining strength toward in his senior season. He led a clutch second-half drive Friday night in a 41-20 win against south Tampa rival Robinson. He has thrown for 1,889 yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for the season.
Ely will begin defense of the title this week in the first round of the playoffs when Plant hosts Plant City (Fla.).
"He's really throwing the ball with great velocity," Wiener said. "Phillip is on control and in command. He's thrilled about going to Alabama, but he's making sure he's focused on what he's doing there