Alabama makes it official: Coker ready to transfer and join Tide
by Marq Burnett
Jan 26, 2014 | 4230 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Florida State's Jameis Winston, left, and Jacob Coker during preseason. (Associated Press photo)
Florida State's Jameis Winston, left, and Jacob Coker during preseason. (Associated Press photo)
TUSCALOOSA -- After taking an official recruiting visit to Alabama this weekend, Jacob Coker didn't waste time in choosing the Crimson Tide.

Coker has signed with Alabama, and Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban announced his new quarterback's decision this afternoon.

“We think a lot of Jake and we are excited to have him join our team,” Saban said in a university news release. “He is not only an outstanding football player, but he is also a fine young man who we feel will be a great fit with our program at Alabama.”

Coker is expected to enroll at Alabama this summer after he completes his undergraduate degree at Florida State in May. NCAA rules allow athletes who have completed their graduation requirements to transfer without sitting out a year.

Coker, who went to St. Paul's High in Mobile with former Tide quarterback AJ McCarron, will have two years of eligibility left.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Coker played in seven games last season at FSU as the back-up to Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. He saw action in four games in 2012 and redshirted in 2011.

Coker originally signed with FSU after leading St. Paul’s to a 10-2 record his senior season, including the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs. He was also a standout basketball player who earned all-state recognition, averaging 21.9 points a game as a senior.

When McCarron was a senior at St. Paul's, Coker was a sophomore.

“I was very impressed with everything on my visit to Tuscaloosa,” Coker said in the unversity news release. “I feel very comfortable with the coaches and the players, and I’m looking forward to getting started at Alabama and competing. I also want to thank my coaches and teammates at Florida State. I had a great experience there and I’m excited to build on that at Alabama.”

He will not count against the current recruiting class NCAA limit of 25 incoming players on scholarship, but will count against the team total of 85, which is the maximum allowed FBS schools by the NCAA.

This season in mop-up duty, Coker completed 18 of 36 passes for 250 yards and an interception.

Coker is expected to push for the starting job from the day he arrives on campus.

"Me, personally, I think Jacob can go anywhere and start in any program," Winston told reporters in January at a BCS Championship Game news conference.

Coker suffered a torn meniscus in his knee in November and had surgery. He said earlier this month at the BCS media day in Newport Beach, Calif., that he is hoping his recovery will be complete in February, which will mark 12 weeks from start to finish.

At quarterback, the Tide also will have rising senior Blake Sims, Alec Morris, Cooper Bateman and Parker McLeod and incoming freshman David Cornwell. Morris will be a sophomore, while Bateman and McLeod will be redshirt freshmen.

Walk-on quarterback Luke Del Rio transferred to Oregon State earlier this month.
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