Saban not rushing quarterback selection

Saban not rushing quarterback selection

April 9th, 2015 by David Paschall in Sports - College
Alabama redshirt junior Alec Morris was the third-team quarterback at the end of last season, but there is no pecking order this spring among the five candidates looking to replace Blake Sims.

Alabama redshirt junior Alec Morris was the third-team...

Photo by University of Alabama photo

Alabama never really tabbed a starting quarterback last season until Blake Sims took the first snap and went on to the most productive aerial year in Crimson Tide history.

Don't count on Nick Saban naming a successor to Sims any time soon.

The Crimson Tide held their 10th spring workout Wednesday afternoon, with fifth-year senior Jacob Coker, redshirt junior Alec Morris, redshirt sophomore Cooper Bateman, redshirt freshman David Cornwell and early enrollee Blake Barnett continuing to vie at quarterback. Coker, who transferred from Florida State last summer, is the favorite to claim the role, but Saban is not releasing scrimmage statistics for any of the five and does not sound like he's in a hurry to form a pecking order.

"All the guys have done some things that are encouraging," Saban said Wednesday night in a news conference. "We're encouraged by the young players and how much they've improved this spring and in some cases from last year to this year. From a consistency standpoint, we're far from making a determination as far as who would be first, second or third."

Coker completed 38 of 59 passes for 403 yards and four touchdowns in six games last season, while Morris got in four contests but did not attempt a pass.

Alabama's practice Wednesday started with a speech from new Crimson Tide basketball coach Avery Johnson, who was the NBA coach of the year in 2006, when he led the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA finals. Johnson helped win an NBA title in 1999 as a guard with the San Antonio Spurs.

The Crimson Tide will hold a light workout Friday before conducting their second scrimmage Saturday.

"There is not a position on the field that we're satisfied with," Saban said, "and there is not a position on the field we're disappointed with."

Saban said attention to detail by the wide receivers and having the quarterbacks and receivers get into sync are two of the bigger challenges right now. Even star sophomore tackle Cam Robinson is being monitored closely by his head coach.

"Cam has to show a lot of maturity in not being satisfied with where he is and challenge himself every day," Saban said.

Junior defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson was reportedly carted out of Monday's practice, but Saban said Wednesday that the 6-foot-4, 320-pounder sprained his knee and ankle. He is being listed as day-to-day, and Saban said the staff will be conservative in bringing him back.

Tide tidbits

Freshman tailback Bo Scarbrough has undergone his ACL surgery, according to Saban, who is hopeful of having him back for the 2015 season. ... Junior cornerback Eddie Jackson, who started 10 games last season, is practicing at safety, while freshman defensive back Deionte Thompson is working at receiver. ... Saban said outside linebackers Rashaan Evans and Tim Williams are having productive springs in the absence of Denzel Devall, who is recovering from a foot operation.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.