The University of Alabama’s new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier has gone back out West, where he came from, to find a potential quarterback target, Cooper Bateman, a signal caller from Salt Lake City.
Nussmeier first evaluated Bateman when he was at Washington and has since reached out to the ESPNU 150 Watch List quarterback after taking over in Tuscaloosa. On Thursday, Bateman received an offer from the Crimson Tide, directly from head coach Nick Saban.
“Talking to Nick Saban, there’s nothing bigger than that,” Bateman said. “I’ve never had a conversation where I’ve been so on the edge of my seat. That was huge. To get an offer from Alabama with everything they offer, that’s exciting. They’re the reigning national champs.
“(Saban) was just telling me about the program and everything they have in store, all of the guys they have put in the NFL. The program produces football players as well as just good people all around, and he said that’s what the program focuses on primarily. It’s not football, it’s the kind of people they develop.”
With the offer from Alabama, Bateman is now up to 14 scholarship offers. Over the weekend, he picked up offers from Arizona State, Cal and North Carolina, and his other SEC offers include Arkansas, Auburn and Florida.
Although it’s a long way from home, the Utah native is open to playing in the SEC.
“At this point, distance is not a factor at all,” Bateman said. “My parents said they’ll back me 100 percent wherever I decide to go. They’ll be there week in and week out wherever I decide to play.”
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound signal caller is planning a trip in late March or early April to visit Alabama and the other SEC schools who have offered. He says he wants to see the campus because that will be one of the primary factors in his decision.
“Aside from football, the college life and what it’s like on campus will be huge for me because that’s where you’re going to spend the next four or five years of your life,” Bateman said.
“With football, the biggest thing it comes down to is your position coach. He’s the one that will be sending you to the next level, the one you’ll be spending all of your time with, getting all of your knowledge from them.”
For Bateman, his position coach at UA would be Nussmeier, the coach that reached out to him first and the coach with whom he has already developed a solid relationship.