Former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims did the unimaginable in 2014. He guided the Crimson Tide to a Southeastern Conference title and an appearance in the College Football Playoff. Prior to the run, Sims had a rough A-Day performance and was inconsistent at times as a backup quarterback. He was able to fend off Florida State transfer Jake Coker, earning him the starting job. Sims finished last season with 3,487 passing yards and 28 touchdowns.
Coker is assumed to be the starter next season, but like Sims, he must outwork the competition. Alabama returns four other quarterbacks, including redshirt sophomore Cooper Bateman.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Bateman excelled on special teams last season (holder). He did a solid job as a scout team quarterback, giving Alabama’s defense multiple looks. He’s a native of Murray, Utah, that was a marquee name at Cottonwood High School. Bateman showed promise as a dynamic passer, totaling 7,654 yards and 68 touchdowns in his career. He displayed athleticism as a runner, accounting for 12 rushing touchdowns in his senior year.
Bateman was one of the nation’s top quarterbacks in the class of 2013. A former four-star prospect, he was ranked as the No. 3 pocket passer by ESPN and the No.5 pro-style quarterback by 247 sports and Scout.com. Bateman arrived at Alabama as an early enrollee in January of 2013. He possessed mobility and arm strength, but accuracy and ball placement were areas of concern. Bateman has improved his vision and mechanics as a passer.
Alabama fans saw a confident Bateman inside Bryant-Denny Stadium during the Crimson Tide’s 2014 A-Day game. He put in decent numbers, completing 11 of 24 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown. Bateman established chemistry with wide receiver Robert Foster. He caught four of Bateman’s 24 passes, resulting in 50 yards. Bateman’s performance was enough to help the White team defeat the Crimson squad 17-13.
Bateman eyes the starting job as he returns for a third season. Fans and sports writers desire to see true freshman Blake Barnett. Sophomore David Cornwell wants to prove that he’s more than just the second quarterback signed in Alabama’s 2014 class. Alec Morris is about to enter his fourth season in the system and isn’t backing down. All signs once again point toward Jake Coker, but a push from Bateman in spring practice and summer workouts can land him an opportunity.