Blake Sims or Jake Coker?
It appears that Alabama coach Nick Saban has settled on Sims getting the starting nod in the Crimson Tide’s season opener against West Virginia.
CBSSports.com reported Tuesday afternoon that Sims, a fifth-year senior, would get the call over the highly touted Florida State transfer.
While playing for the Seminoles, Coker threw for 295 yards and one touchdown and an interception. For his career, Sims has completed 23 of 39 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite not getting the start, Coker is expected to see action.
“We’re going to rep both guys,” Saban said. “We feel like both guys have been doing a very, very good job.
“Obviously, somebody has to start the game. … But I think both guys are doing a good job right now, and we’re going to try to develop both players right now.”
A senior, Sims served as AJ McCarron’s backup the last two years after playing running back in 2011.
Sims’ edge is that he “has more familiarity with the system, more comfortable in doing the things that we do and has done a really good job,” Saban said.
Coker, a junior transfer from Florida State, backed up Heisman winner Jameis Winston last season. He gained immediate eligibility after picking up his degree at FSU in May.
His disadvantage: He’s not as familiar with Alabama’s system and terminology as Sims.
“We’re just trying to get him more familiar so he can play with the rhythm that we need to play with offensively,” Saban said.
Saban is being flexible in his approach to the game.
He said he has no plans to alternate the two on a quarter-by-quarter basis as he has done in the past, and he isn’t committed to playing both in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.
“That doesn’t mean whatever pitcher starts the game doesn’t mean he’s going to go nine innings,” he said.
NOTES: Sophomore DL A’Shawn Robinson is working to get back into shape after recovering from a knee injury. He expected to start at nose guard against West Virginia. … Sophomore LB Tim Williams is at practice after sitting out the early fall camp while suspended. … Sophomore CB Eddie Jackson is back at practice after injuring his knee. … LT Cam Robinson looks to become the first true freshman to start an opener for Alabama since WR Julio Jones in 2008.