Coker would add intrigue to Bama battle
January, 22, 2014
By Edward Aschoff | ESPN.com
Florida State backup quarterback Jacob Coker was granted his release from his scholarship and has already met with Alabama coach Nick Saban, sources told ESPN.com.
It's expected that Coker, a redshirt sophomore, will enroll at Alabama after graduating from Florida State this spring. That means the fight for replacing AJ McCarron just got a lot more interesting.
McCarron's departure seemed to mean that junior Blake Sims and underclassmen Cooper Bateman, Alec Morris and Parker McLeod, along with incoming freshman David Cornwell, would lead the charge to becoming Alabama's new starting quarterback. Throw in Coker, who received rave reviews from his coaches and teammates -- even though he backed up Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston for most of the season before suffering a knee injury in early November -- and the Crimson Tide should have an even tighter race to replace McCarron this fall.
AP Photo/Phil SearsJameis Winston and Jacob Coker had a spirited duel to become Florida State's starting quarterback last summer.
The good news for Alabama is that with Coker pursuing a graduate degree, he would be eligible to compete for the starting job when he steps on campus. Coker threw for only 250 yards and an interception this past season, so the country hasn't seen much of him, though it's worth noting that he went step-for-step with Winston until the final week of fall camp. Remember, Winston won the Heisman last season.
While he doesn't have much of a college résumé, Coker's arrival in Tuscaloosa will add some experience to the quarterback competition. He'll be behind the rest of his competition when he arrives, which should push him even more during the offseason and fall camp. It might light an even bigger fire under the guys competing for the job this spring.
Here's what Florida State quarterback coach Randy Sanders told CBSSports.com about Coker:
"I've never had anybody with his size who throws it as well as he does. Jake has a really quick release with tremendous arm strength. Rarely does it not spiral or not go where he wants it to go."
Even with a logjam at quarterback, getting Coker is a win for the Tide. Replacing McCarron won't be easy, but this sort of addition should make it that much better for whichever quarterback wins the job.
Players Provide Playoff Picks
11:00 AM ET Nevada Louisiana-Lafayette 2:20 PM ET Utah State UTEP 3:30 PM ET 22 Utah Colorado State 5:45 PM ET Western Michigan Air Force 9:15 PM ET South Alabama Bowling Green
6:00 PM ET Marshall Northern Illinois 9:30 PM ET Navy San Diego State
12:00 PM ET Central Michigan Western Kentucky 8:00 PM ET Fresno State Rice
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State