The Alabama Crimson Tide enter the 2014 season with questions at quarterback for the first time in three seasons with AJ McCarron departing for the NFL where he was a fifth round pick, but if Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher is correct in his assessment of transfer quarterback Jacob Coker, Alabama will be just fine under center.
Fisher coached the 6-5, 235-poud signal-caller the past three years at Florida State before he transferred at the end of the semester and will be eligible to play immediately at Alabama because he graduated, and Fisher thinks Coker is the most talented quarterback Nick Saban will have at his disposal in his time with the Tide, according to comments made to D.C. Reeves of TideSports.com.
“Including what they’ve had, he’s much more talented than anything they’ve had. 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.”
“We could have been right there in the same position last year with him, I really believe that. You just had to make a choice. If he had played, got his reps and got in that role, we would have done extremely well. I’m a Jacob Coker fan.”
Exceedingly positive remarks for his former player as one might expect so you have to take them with a grain of salt, but in saying he may have been one of the top three or four quarterbacks in the country from a physical standpoint is something that you haven’t been able to say about the likes of McCarron or Greg McElroy.
Both quarterbacks were exceptional leaders with all the intangibles in the world, but there was a reason why neither was drafted before the fifth round. Coker has already been labeled as a first round candidate by ESPN’s NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper.
The arm strength of each of the former national champion quarterbacks left something to be desired and neither was particularly fleet of foot, so the rocket arm of and the nimble feet of the athletic Coker, who has a few inches and 20-25 pounds on each of the former national champion quarterbacks, should excite the Alabama fanbase.
His physical traits have never been in question, but the only knock on Coker is that he has yet to get much in-game experience and turn that prodigious potential into production. With a number of weapons at his disposal, including All-American candidate Amari Cooper and perhaps the best backfield in the country, Coker will be in a favorable position to prove his former coach’s words accurate and make his current coach awfully happy.