“Ready to make a change in my life for the better and I thank everyone who has supported me through this process. Go Rockets!” he posted on Twitter.
Ely spent two seasons at Alabama. After sitting out the 2011 season as a redshirt, he was the co-backup quarterback in 2012, sharing the position with Blake Sims. He played in six games, completing 3 of 4 passes for 42 yards and a touchdown against Mississippi State.
Alabama won national titles in both seasons, but this past spring, Ely fell out of the quarterback mix. AJ McCarron is back for his senior season as the starter, but the bulk of the work as the backup was given to Sims, redshirt freshman Alec Morris and true freshman Cooper Bateman.
In addition, Ely was competing with true freshmen Parker McLeod and Luke Del Rio.
“And a special thanks to my former teammates at bama. I love and will miss ya'll! Goodluck this year and go get number 3!!” he posted.
Ely played at Plant High in Tampa, Fla., and led the school to a pair of state titles. In 2008, then-starting quarterback Aaron Murray, now at Georgia, injured his ankle. Ely replaced him and led Plant to seven straight wins before Murray returned for the final two playoff games, including a state title win.
As a high school senior, ESPN ranked him the No. 15 quarterback in the country, and he was the only quarterback in Alabama’s 2011 signing class.
At Toledo, Ely will have to sit out the 2013 season, but the quarterback job should be open for 2014. The Rockets’ starting quarterback, Terrence Owens, is heading into his senior season.
Toledo went 9-4 this past season, including a 41-15 loss to Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.