Alabama Crimson Tide Tradition Earns Jacob Coker a Spot on Maxwell Award Watch List

By Tim Letcher

Imagine a quarterback with only 295 passing yards and one career touchdown pass making a preseason national player of the year watch list. Sounds crazy, right?

Crazy or not, it actually happened on Monday when Jacob Coker, the incoming quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide, was named to the 2014 preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is given to the college football player of the year each season.

Coker played two seasons for the Florida State Seminoles before transferring to Alabama. In fact, Coker has truly not transferred yet, and does not yet appear on the Alabama roster. However, he will make the move later this summer, and is expected to be named the starting quarterback over Phillip Sims and a few others.

The fact that Coker was named to this watch list shows the faith that the committee has in the Alabama football program. To take a quarterback who has career numbers that should be single game numbers and place him on a list with players like Jameis Winston of Florida State, Marcus Mariota of the Oregon Ducks and Braxton Miller of the Ohio State Buckeyes is going out on a limb. But Alabama’s proven track record and tradition allows Coker to appear on this list.

A more reasonable scenario might have been to place Coker on the mid-season watch list, after he has shown that he can be an effective quarterback in the Southeastern Conference. But in today’s immediate news cycle age, Coker makes this list, even though his numbers are nowhere close to worthy.

Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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