Pollack: Coker is Alabama’s most talented QB of Saban era
GREENSBORO, Ga. — Jacob Coker or Blake Sims?
Who’s going to be Alabama’s next quarterback now, that A.J. McCarron has exhausted his college eligibility — while winning a ton of hardware, including two BCS national titles, along the way?
Is there a shot Cooper Bateman could join the mix for the Crimson Tide in 2014, making it a three-way competition?
According to ESPN college football analyst David Pollack … not a chance. The job should already be Coker’s.
"You can go ahead and hand it (the starting job) to him," said Pollack at the Arians Family Foundation Georgia Celebrity Golf Classic Monday. "If you’ve seen Jacob Coker throw a football — I saw him this spring in Tallahassee, it’s ridiculous. He can spin it better than any quarterback Nick Saban’s had at Alabama. It’s not even close, including AJ McCarron."
McCarron won two national titles (2012, 2013) with Alabama as a starter, and was on the team as a backup in 2010 to earn his first of three championship rings. He finished his college career with a 66.9 percent completion rate and threw 77 touchdown passes to only 15 interceptions.
What’s more, McCarron was a heady game manager who usually put Alabama in the best situations for victory. His 36-4 record as a starter speaks volumes.
"I’m not saying (Coker’s) going to be up here (using hands) mentally where AJ McCarron was, because I thought (McCarron) was very steady and didn’t make mistakes," said Pollack. "But as far as a talent perspective, he’s got a lot more talent than I think AJ McCarron had."
That’s a lot of confidence in Coker, who’s only thrown 41 passes in his collegiate career — with 36 coming last season as Heisman winner Jameis Winston’s backup at Florida State.
But Pollack saw a lot of great quarterback play as a linebacker at Georgia (three-time All-American from 2002-04), and his time as an analyst has only sharpened the eyes.
Blake Sims has attempted 39 passes over the last two seasons as McCarron’s backup, and Bateman, as a redshirt freshman, hasn’t thrown a single college pass.
With fewer than 100 attempts between the trio, calling the race for McCarron’s successor right now may be a tad premature.
Especially since no official word has come from Alabama.