Quarterback competitions has been the leading storyline all offseason for the Alabama Crimson Tide, but at Monday’s press conference, head coach Nick Saban trimmed the five man race down to three, according to SaturdayDownSouth.com.
Saban said senior Jake Coker, sophomore Cooper Bateman and junior Alec Morris will share reps at practice this week heading into the season opener against Wisconsin.
“Each day we’ll have an order that they get some many reps based on what we would do if they get an opportunity to play in the game,” Saban said. “That’s how we’re going to progress this week.”
Saban also voiced his pleasure with the progression of all three quarterbacks.
“I’ve been really pleased with all three of the quarterbacks that have taken some reps on practice. Jake (Coker) has really done a good job of getting the ball out of his hand and seems to be more comfortable with the offense,” Saban said. “Cooper Bateman is more athletic and has really improved as a passer and done a really good job executing and Alec (Morris) is very, very comfortable in running the offense in terms of knowledge and experience and that type of thing.”
When asked about a timetable for naming a starter, he declined on making a deadline. Last season Saban waited until a day before the season-opener against West Virginia to name former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims the starter.
“I’d have liked to let him know three months ago,” Saban said. “But it’s not about what I like. It’s about what we need to do for our team right now and making a decision for our team. We’re going to make the decision when we think it is the right time to make the decision for this group of guys, alright?”
While it would be ideal to play only one quarterback Saban did not shut down the possibility of playing two or three after acknowledging the players’ different playing styles.
The favorite of many to take the reigns as the next starting Alabama quarterback last season and this season is former Florida State transfer Jake Coker. Coker is the only Crimson Tide quarterback who has thrown a pass during a game.