The external perception is that Jacob Coker, a transfer from Florida State, will step in as Alabama’s starting quarterback this season.
Not so fast, coach Nick Saban said Thursday at SEC Media Days.
“That’s really not internally the perception by me, our staff or our players,” Saban said. “Jake Coker has the opportunity to come in and compete for the position.
“Blake Sims has been competing for the position. (Sims) really did a pretty good job in the spring. Didn’t play great in the spring game, but we really didn’t do the things that he’s capable of doing. So there’s going to be a competition there, as well as some of the younger players will be involved in that competition.”
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Coker transferred to Alabama in May after completing his undergraduate degree at Florida State, where he was Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston’s backup last season. Because he will be a graduate student, Coker doesn’t have to sit out a season as most transfers do.
Replacing three-year starter AJ McCarron at quarterback “is going to be critical to the success of our team,” Saban said, “regardless of who the player is.”
Coker has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
“Jacob’s done a great job since he came in May,” Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones said. “He’s … learning and doing all the little things right, trying to become the quarterback that we want him to be.”
Jones said Coker understands he faces competition from other quarterbacks on the roster. “It’s fun watching them (compete),” Jones said.