All the stars aligned for Jake Coker to take over the Alabama offense in 2014. The former FSU quarterback transferred weeks after his former team’s BCS Championship win and looked to be the heir to departing starter AJ McCarron.
It would’ve been a familiar story for Coker, who attended St. Paul’s Episcopal High School in Mobile, Alabama and replaced the departing McCarron as a junior.
Instead, senior Blake Sims was announced as the Tide’s starter hours before the season opener against West Virginia.
Coker has always been in the “wrong place at the wrong time.” He was beaten out by Jameis Winston just before the then-redshirt freshman’s historic Heisman Trophy winning season. In 2014, Sims went on to set the Alabama single-season passing record with 3,487 yards, along with 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Coker finds himself as the preseason favorite once again in 2015. He faces two underclassmen in Alec Morris and Cooper Bateman — who is also taking reps with the wide receivers should he lose the battle.
“Over the summer, and in fall camp, we’re going to need to establish, ‘OK, here’s the guy,’ head coach Nick Saban told the Montgomery Advertiser. “But somebody’s got to take the bulls by the horn and do that too. It’s not for us to give away, it’s for somebody to earn.”