Jacob Coker has never taken a snap at Alabama. He hasn’t even thrown a pass in an official Crimson Tide practice.
That hasn’t stopped the rampant speculation that Coker – the backup to Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston at Florida State last year – will immediately step into the starting role as AJ McCarron’s replacement. Alabama coach Nick Saban sought to temper expectations for Coker when the talked about the newcomer during his Crimson Caravan stops.
Despite Saban’s praise of other quarterbacks and his reluctance of publicly anoint Coker as a savior, Alabama fans clearly expect Coker to win the job. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher added to that notion with his comments to Tidesports.com this week.
“Including what they’ve had, he’s much 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.”
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Make no mistake, count me in the camp expected Coker to immediately grab the Tide’s starting job. At 6-foot-5, he possesses the size and arm strength that every college coach covets, and remember that he works 1-on-1 with the same quarterback coach who tutored AJ McCarron.
Several years ago, I marveled as Coker rolled to his right in a high school game against Spanish Fort and launched a pass 60 yards off his back foot. Surely his arm strength has improved since then.
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Yes, Coker is a prototypical drop-back passer, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be a statue in the pocket. He scored more than 2,000 points in his high school basketball career – mostly as a shooting guard — so he’s a much better athlete than most people give him credit for being.
Do you think Coker will win the job? Has Saban done the right thing by attempting to temper expectations?
What does is say about Alabama’s other quarterbacks that so many fans expect Coker to win the job immediately? If Coker does walk in and immediately start, what does that say about Alabama’s recent recruiting of quarterbacks?
Should Fisher have spoken so candidly about a player who is now in another program? Do you think Fisher is intentionally adding pressure to Coker’s arrival?
We’ll discuss those topics – and anything else on your mind – beginning at 9 a.m. Feel free to drop a question early, and I’ll address as many as possible.