Quarterback pick still up in the air going into A-Day

Quarterback pick still up in the air going into A-Day

Kent Gidley

Alabama quarterback Jake Coker looks downfield during this weekend’s scrimmage. UA Athletics

Elliott Propes

One of the largest battles on the team is for the quarterback position. Saban said it is still a five-man race between Jake Coker, David Cornwell, Alec Morris, Cooper Bateman and Blake Barnett.

“We are looking for the guys who can [lead] more consistently, and who’s going to help play winning football at that position on the most consistent basis,” Saban said. “This is not something you can just 
sort of wave a wand and say, ‘OK, I think we got it here.’ I think this 
decision is going to be made 
over time.”

During the few minutes of media availability before the scrimmage, Cornwell received some first team reps in a two wide receiver set 
with all of the lineman in play. Then 
during a drill with just the receivers and quarterbacks, Coker was 
first in line.

“[Cornwell] has done as good as anybody this spring,” Saban said. “He is very bright, he has a great understanding of the offense. He does a great job from a leadership standpoint of helping other players play better when he is in there, and he has played smart for the most 
part all spring.”

Replacing a quarterback is not the only task Saban must contend with. Alabama lost last season’s top three receivers, Amari Cooper, Christion Jones and DeAndrew White. For most of the spring, Robert Foster, Chris Black and ArDarius Stewart have been getting the majority 
of the reps. During the scrimmage Foster had the most yardage 
with six receptions for 102 yards.

“Robert has really come on,” Saban said. “I think being a young 
player, Robert is uncertain sometimes of exactly what he is 
supposed to do and how he is 
supposed to do it. When he knows, he plays fast and certainly has 
big-play ability. I’m not satisfied with where he is, but I’m certainly 
encouraged by the progress he 
has made.”

With only one week remaining before A-Day, there are 
still several questions about who will play where, but Saban said he 
is not too concerned right now,
especially with the qua terback 
competition. It was not until the 
third game last season when Saban fully decided on Blake Sims.

“When the scrimmages come, because you only have two, you want to give everyone an opportunity so you can evaluate,” Saban said. “So that’s what we have done, and … we will continue to do that even in 
A-Day. In fall camp we need to 
establish here is the guy, but 
someone’s got to take the bull by
the horns and do that too. It’s 
not for us to give away, it’s for 
someone to earn it.”