The Crimson Tide will be looking to have continued success in 2014, but in order to stay competitive in the SEC, someone will have to fill the shoes of AJ McCarron. After having a huge amount of success while on campus, his heir apparent will have a tough task to live up to expectations.
Currently, the two main guys fighting for the spot are Blake Sims and Jacob Coker. Sims was able to showcase his talent in the annual A-day spring game, but no quarterbacks looked good in that contest. Meanwhile, incoming transfer Coker simply stood on the sidelines waiting to finish up his school year at Florida State before officially relocating to Tuscaloosa.
Simply put, Sims (and every other quarterback currently on the roster) missed out on a golden opportunity to take a step ahead of Coker before he officially joined the team. There were many who considered Coker the favorite to begin with, and now he won’t be forced to overcome any momentum picked up by the other quarterbacks.
At 6’5” and with plenty of athleticism, Coker looks like a guy who could step in right away and have success in the SEC. The writing was on the wall at Florida State with Jameis Winston earning the starting quarterback spot, but head coach Jimbo Fisher said it was extremely close. If Coker is just a hair behind the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Alabama feels like their defense and running game can take care of the rest. He could step in right away and be a top option in college fantasy football.
Sims will put up a fight, but the fact Coker is coming to Tuscaloosa pretty much indicates that he has confidence in himself to earn that starting job. He might not be as steady as McCarron, but Alabama certainly won’t experience the same type of drop off many programs go through when they lose a talented quarterback to graduation.