Alabama Position-By-Position Breakdown: Quarterbacks
It’s only spring, but it’s never too early to start preparing for the fall. In the first installment of a position-by-position breakdown of the Crimson Tide’s 2015 roster heading into spring practice, Tide 99.1 looks at the quarterbacks.
- Blake Sims (graduated/NFL Draft)
- Jake Coker (senior)
- Alec Morris (redshirt junior)
- Cooper Bateman (redshirt sophomore)
- David Cornwell (redshirt freshman)
- Blake Barnett (early enrollee)
Keep an eye on: Blake Barnett. No true freshman has ever started a game for Alabama, let alone taken a snap, under Nick Saban, but Barnett could come as come as any in breaking that trend. With Blake Sims gone, the Crimson Tide must find a new signal-caller for the second straight season and Barnett will have, at the least, an opportunity to prove that he’s ready for the task in 2015 as an early enrollee. Though it remains to be seen how he will fare early, Barnett’s potential will be difficult to doubt. A five-star prospect from Corona, California, Barnett is the highest-rated quarterback Saban has ever signed at Alabama. During his National Signing Day press conference last month, Saban said he wouldn’t rule out starting a freshman quarterback if the player proves capable of the task.
Overview: After coming close to beating out the since-departed Sims a year ago, there is little debate that Coker enters this spring as Alabama’s top quarterback. A big-armed quarterback who many expected to fill the void left by AJ McCarron following his high-profile transfer from Florida State last summer, Coker was unable to make up ground in time to overcome Sims – a four-year player in the program at the time – and served as the team’s backup in 2014.
Now acclimated with the system in his final year of eligibility, Coker will have a talented, yet inexperienced crop of competitors behind him, none of whom have ever thrown a pass in their collegiate careers. In terms of game experience, Morris is next behind Coker with a handful of snaps under center to his name, followed by Bateman, who played in all 14 games last season as kicker Adam Griffith’s holder. Statistically, Bateman was the Crimson Tide’s best quarterback in last year’s A-Day game, completing 11-of-24 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions.
Both Cornwell and Barnett’s names generate a lot of fanfare as both were highly sought-after recruits coming out of high school, but it seems likely that their best bet will be competing for No. 2 behind Coker this spring and for the upcoming season.
Predicted 2015 Post-Spring Depth Chart:
1. Jake Coker
2. Cooper Bateman
3. Alec Morris
4. Blake Barnett
5. David Cornwell
Still to come: N/A
Up next: Running backs