With Alabama preseason camp officially under way Friday morning, we got our first glimpse at Jacob Coker in a Crimson Tide uniform. Coker, a Florida State transfer, is the man believed by many to be the replacement for AJ McCarron at quarterback in 2014.
It has been assumed all summer that Coker, a redshirt junior, would take over the starting role, but head coach Nick Saban has long maintained that Coker will battle it out with fifth-year senior Blake Sims and redshirt freshman Cooper Bateman for the starting role.
On Friday morning, according to Al.com, Sims was working first in drills with Coker second. Coker reportedly “had a handful of high throws,” but that’s not uncommon for a player in his first practice.
Here’s some video of Coker (No. 14) and Sims (No. 6), via TideSports.com.
Whoever wins the job will be making his first career collegiate start when the Tide opens up its season against West Virginia in Atlanta on August 30.
The 6-foot, 202-pound Sims, who has four years of experience in Alabama’s system, was the primary backup behind McCarron last year while Bateman redshirted. Coker, while at FSU, was in a heated battle for the starting role with eventual Heisman winner Jameis Winston.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher called the 6-foot-6, 235-pound Coker the most talented quarterback Saban has had in his tenure at Alabama.
“He’s more talented than anything they’ve had,” Fisher told TideSports.com. “I don’t mean to discredit the previous guys, they were all great. But this guy is extremely talented. Arm and mind. He’s a backup because he’s behind the best quarterback in America. (Coker) may have been one of the top three or four quarterbacks in America physically.
“We could have been right there in the same position last year with him, I really believe that. You just had to make a choice. If he had played, got his reps and got in that role, we would have done extremely well. I’m a Jacob Coker fan.”
That’s high praise for a guy who’s barely seen the field, but it really has given the Crimson Tide faithful high expectations for the transfer.
Friday’s practice was just the start. We’ll continue to monitor Alabama’s QB competition as it moves forward.
For more Alabama news, visit TideSports.com.
- - - - - - -