Alabama head coach Nick Saban has completed part one of the quarterback race, which is process of elimination. He took the podium inside the Mal Moore Athletic facility Thursday night, to address the three remaining individuals in the conversation.
Senior Jake Coker and redshirt junior Alec Morris have seen extensive reps this week in practice. Morris continues to line up behind Coker in passing drills to veteran wide receivers.
Coach Saban is preparing both Coker and Morris for Alabama’s meeting with Wisconsin, but redshirt sophomore Cooper Bateman is in the mix as well. He’s improved his mechanics and possesses athleticism as a runner. It’s a possibility that the Crimson Tide may use Bateman in an option situation, like Florida had with Tim Tebow in 2006 (Chris Leak, starting quarterback).
Saban’s goal is to see which quarterback can play with urgency and command in the huddle. Wisconsin returns an experienced secondary, headlined by senior safety Michael Caputo.
A two-quarterback system isn’t new for Alabama. Saban played former quarterbacks AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims each a quarter in the Crimson Tide’s 2011 home opener against Kent State. McCarron assumed the starting role after a solid performance against Penn State.
Ex-Crimson Tide signal callers Andrew Zow (1997-01) and Tyler Watts (1998-01) split time under center from 1999-01. Both quarterbacks won a Southeastern Conference title in 1999.