Latest Team Rankings
Free Rivals Alerts
|College Teams||High Schools|
January 22, 2014
Nick Saban visits released FSU QB Jacob Coker
Deal ends Thursday! Sign-up for a new TideSports.com subscription and get $99 worth of FREE Alabama apparel. Call 1-866-2-RIVALS and ask for the "Holiday99" Special or Sign-up here. Limited time offer.
A transfer could find his way into the University of Alabama's quarterback competition this fall.
UA head coach Nick Saban met with former Florida State backup quarterback Jacob Coker on Tuesday in his hometown of Mobile, St. Paul's High head coach Steve Mask confirmed to TideSports.com.
Florida State has released Coker from his scholarship, the school confirmed Wednesday.
"Yes, (Saban and Coker) had a real good in-home visit," Mask said. "They got together and met and it went real well."
So well, in fact, that a source told the TideSports.com that Coker is expected to visit Alabama, perhaps as soon as this weekend.
The source also said that Coker is expected to graduate from FSU this spring. Per NCAA rules, a student athlete seeking a graduate degree in a concentration not offered by his or her current school can transfer to another school without sitting out a year of athletic competition. That means that if Coker transfers to Alabama, he would be immediately eligible to compete for the starting job. A redshirt sophomore in 2013, Coker would have two years of eligibility remaining.
The addition of Coker to UA's roster would continue the shuffling for Alabama's candidates to replace AJ McCarron, who was a senior last season, at quarterback. Walk-on Luke Del Rio transferred from Alabama to Oregon State last Sunday. As of now, 2014 returnees Cooper Bateman, Alec Morris, Blake Sims and Parker McLeod, along with true freshman David Cornwell, who has enrolled for the spring semester, are all in the mix at the quarterback position.
Before becoming a starter at St. Paul's High, Coker served as the backup quarterback to McCarron. A star in football and basketball at the prep level, Coker was rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, but his recruitment picked up steam late in the recruiting cycle as major programs like Florida State began to show interest. Listed at 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds as a senior in high school, Coker completed 94 of 153 passes for 1,508 yards and 16 touchdowns and added 61 rushes for 355 yards and five touchdowns.
"He's one of the most competitive people I've ever been around," said Mask, who was a defensive coordinator at St. Paul's when Coker was the starting quarterback. "He'll do everything within his power to win. He's also one of the most respectful people. He's so down-to-earth and just a humble and honest kid. But put the pads and the helmet on and he turns into a real warrior. He wants to win badly."
Starting last spring and into fall camp, Coker, who displayed big arm strength and the ability to run even after filling out at 230 pounds, was in a close quarterback competition with Jameis Winston. FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher awarded the job to Winston, who led FSU to a national championship and became the second freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy.
"It's one of the toughest decisions I've had to go through," Fisher told reporters after announcing Winston as the starter in late August. "We truly have two very good quarterbacks and I feel comfortable with both in the game."
Once Coker lost out on the starting job, the speculation began about a potential transfer. Winston is not eligible for the NFL draft until 2015.
Coker injured his knee during reserve duty in FSU's win at Wake Forest on Nov. 9. He had surgery three days later and was expected to be fully healthy for spring practice. Since Coker is released from his scholarship, he will not participate in spring practice at FSU.
- Aaron Suttles and Andrew Bone contributed to this report. Reach D.C. Reeves at 205-722-0196 or firstname.lastname@example.org.