Jimbo Fisher sees Jacob Coker as QB upgrade for Alabama


Just what the rest of college football needs: Alabama getting an upgrade at quarterback over AJ McCarron.

That's what Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher thinks the team is getting in Jacob Coker, anyway.

Fisher told tidesports.com that Coker, a transfer quarterback who will compete for the starting job at Alabama in August, is better than any quarterback Nick Saban has had at Alabama.

"Including what they've had, he's much more talented than anything they've had," Fisher said. "I don't mean to discredit the previous guys, they were all great. But this guy is extremely talented. Arm and mind."

Whoa. Where do we start?

First, let's review exactly who else is on the wrong end of Fisher's comparison: All three Alabama starting quarterbacks of the Saban era have cracked the NFL in John Parker Wilson, Greg McElroy and McCarron. Granted, two were career backups with relatively short careers, and McCarron hasn't proven a thing yet on Sundays as a recent fifth-round pick. But the trio also includes a quarterback with two national championships (McCarron), another with one (McElroy), and a third in Wilson who took Alabama to the brink of a title with a 12-0 regular season in 2008.

Second, McCarron's reaction to this could be solid gold. The well-known chip on his shoulder always has room to grow, and you can bet he'd be awfully tempted to put Fisher's claim through a shredder in an interview. And the fact that Coker was McCarron's high school backup can only fan that flame.

And speaking of people who might not be thrilled about the comparison, how about Saban himself? He's always maintained a healthy dislike for heavy expectations on new players, especially quarterbacks. His former offensive coordinator, whom he once tried to hire at Alabama, just told one of the nation's most rabid fan bases that the Tide's question mark at the quarterback spot is actually an exclamation point. Yeah, Saban's next press conference should be a keeper, too.

Fisher has already made a bold prediction about Coker where the NFL draft is concerned, considering the junior has never started a college game. Coker transferred after losing a starting competition before last season to FSU's Jameis Winston, who isn't relinquishing the starting role anytime soon after winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman.

Now, Coker is squarely in the spotlight, too.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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