Jacob Coker Says ‘Awesome’ To Be With Tide

Jacob Coker is a junior quarterback, but he said he felt like a freshman when he showed up at Alabama this summer, a transfer from – and graduate of – Florida State, where he had been back-up to Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston.

“I just knew a few people when I came to Alabama,” said Coker following Alabama’s 41-0 rain-shortened victory over Florida Atlantic Saturday. “The guys really helped me with the system.

“It was good to get back to football. It’s been a fun process getting back.

“It was nice to get in there and I was happy. It was awesome being a part of Alabama; a great experience.”

He said he didn’t have a case of the nerves, at least “not too bad. The first drive maybe a little. I really was thinking about the next play.”

He said things are getting better every day, and that he is “getting back into football shape; playing fast.”

No one would suggest that Coker was a star in Saturday’s cakewalk, but the 6-5, 230-pound Mobile native was satisfactory, completing 15 of 24 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown.

“When I got that touchdown pass (three yards to Jalston Fowler), the first person to meet me coming off the field was Blake. We’re great friends which sometimes is hard for guys in that position.”

The position is that Coker and Blake Sims are competing for the quarterback position with Sims having started the first two games and played well. Sims was 11-13 for 214 yards and two touchdowns Saturday.

Coker says he tries not to read anything about the competition. “I don’t do Twitter or anything like that,” he said. “I go out there and practice.”

Coker said, “Everyone in that quarterback room is real close. We help each other. Blake has been really good to me. I couldn’t have asked for more. He has helped me out.”

He said his first meaningful playing time (he had a couple of mop-up plays in Bama’s season-opener against West Virginia last week) “was not real smooth. There are things to work on, places I can get better. I’ll find out Monday from my coaches how I did.”

He was charged with taking one sack, but it was worse than that. Just before the half, Alabama had time for one play for the end zone and if it didn’t work the Tide could kick a field goal. But Coker got caught in the backfield and time ran out.

“I screwed up,” he said. “I didn’t get the full play in. It was a big fiasco.”

He also downplayed his passing while praising his receivers. “It’s nice to have guys who can go downfield and make those plays,” he said. “I made a couple of throws that weren’t that good, but they still got caught.

Although he said, “I don’t think you can ever master the playbook, I’m a lot more comfortable with it than a month ago.”

And when the play isn’t there, Coker showed he could make a play. When a pass opening didn’t develop on a first-and-10 at the FAU 18, Coker took off running and lowered his shoulders as he piled through defenders near the goalline to set up a first and goal at the three.

“Just playing football,” he said.


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