Perhaps the guy who will give Nick Saban the best chance to get back to a national title game next season was standing in a football uniform, leaning over two metallic crutches, about 50 yards away from the Bama coach Monday night in the Rose Bowl.
Saban was there in Pasadena to help analyze the Florida State-Auburn game for ESPN. The guy with the crutches, Jacob Coker, was Florida State's back-up quarterback until a torn meniscus in November sidelined him for the rest of the season. Coker, a 6-5, 230-pound redshirt sophomore, had battled Jameis Winston for the FSU starting job all the way till the final week of fall camp this seas
Lamarcus Joyner, FSU's star DB, compares the Winston-Coker dynamic to what Florida had with Tim Tebow and Cam Newton.
"You have two NFL guys sitting on one roster," Joyner said. "Everyone knows about Jameis. He's the Tim Tebow right now. He's in that light, but no one knows about Jacob Coker. Great kid. Physical. I'll never forget the day he threw an interception to me, and that kid came and hit me harder than I've ver been hit in my life. It felt like a linebacker."
Inside the Noles program, however, Coker has generated some Bunyanesque buzz.
"I've never had anybody with his size who throws it as well as he does," said FSU QB coach Randy Sanders who's been around big-time programs since his days as a Tennessee player in the mid-80s with the Vols star-crossed quarterback Tony Robinson. "Jake has a really quick release with tremendous arm strength. Rarely does it not spiral or not go where he wants it to go."
Asked if Coker's arm is even better than Winston, the resident Heisman winner, Sanders paused for a few breaths before saying, "Coker's arm is kind of at a different level. Jameis has a very special arm, and this isn't any knock against Jameis, but Jake's probably the best I've seen in 25 years at throwing it."
Obviously he's not comparing their games. Just saying that the backup QB who is getting no pub.....might be just as good or better than the starter.
I really hope Bama doesnt get him.
This post was edited on 1/8 at 1:05 pm