Jake Coker Main Attraction In First Practice

When Alabama opened the gates to allow media in for the brief viewing of the first practice of fall camp Friday morning, there was a beeline for the Northwest corner of the practice fields. That’s where the quarterbacks were set up for individual drills.

Alabama football beat reporters and photographers are interested in the same thing Crimson Tide fans (and coaches) are interested in: how does Jacob Coker look?

Coker’s story is one of the best known in college football this summer. He was the back-up to Jameis Winston last year as Winston won the Heisman Trophy and led Florida State to the national championship. Coker, a native of Mobile, elected to complete his degree work at FSU this spring and transfer to Alabama, where he has two years eligibility remaining.

As Bama started practice Friday, Coker was with the morning group, which is primarily returning players. He was one of three quarterbacks working under Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin.

Also in the quarterbacks group was senior Blake Sims, who had been the back-up to A.J. McCarron and who ran the first offense in the spring, and Cooper Bateman, a redshirt freshman.

Other quarterbacks – sophomore Alec Morris and freshman David Cornwell – will be with the evening group, which will include mostly newcomers, but also a handful of returning players at positions needed to fill out the squad for practice purposes.

Although Alabama Coach Nick Saban says nothing should be read into which returning players are with the newcomers, it is difficult to not read something into newcomer Coker being with the veterans.

Coker, 6-5, 230, looked the part of a quarterback. Although not all his throws were right on the money (Sims was probably the more accurate in the drills media were able to watch in two short periods), Coker was very impressive in rolling out and throwing on the run.

Alabama was in shorts and helmets for the morning work and will be when it has its second practice Friday night. Sunday’s practice will be at Bryant-Denny Stadium and is open to the public. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. CDT and the practice begins at 2:30 p.m. CDT.

Bama’s 2014 season begins Aug. 30 when the Crimson Tide meets West Virginia in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

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