This is the 16th in a series of articles counting down the most important players for Florida State in 2012. There are 43 days until FSU football, and that's how many are left on the list. That means no off days. Oh, and these are not in any specific order.
Jacob Coker | 6'5, 230 | RS-FR | Quarterback
Background (Courtesy school bio)
A three-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com who also was ranked the No. 18 pro-style quarterback by Rivals.com and No. 44 QB by Scout.com...rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports...switched from running a wing-T offense in his junior season to a pro-style offense as a senior and completed 94-of-153 passes for 1,508 yards and 16 touchdowns while also carrying 61 times for 355 yards and five TDs...led St. Paul's to the semifinals of the Alabama State playoffs and a 10-2 record in his final season...No. 17 on the SuperPrep Alabama 43...selected to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game as a senior...rated the No. 70 pro-style quarterback by ESPN...also an exceptional basketball player who led St. Paul's to 17 wins as a junior while averaging 17.4 points per game...named the Class 5A basketball player of the year in Mobile County as a junior and was invited to the state of Alabama's North-South All Star basketball game...averaged 21.9 points and nine rebounds per game as a senior for a team that made it to the Class 5A Area1 finals.
The university bio above doesn't really tell the whole story on Coker, his recruitment, and his brief time at Florida State. He red-shirted last year, so a refresher course is necessary.
Florida State was one of the first schools to see the Mobile (Al.) recruit post growth spurt. From 6'2.5, 175 to 6'5, 210 in less than a year is a ton of growth in that time span, and particularly late in a teenager's life.
Coker spun the ball very well at FSU's camp. Florida State offered over guys like Jacoby Brisset and Stephen Rivers. Coker accepts. FSU accepts his commitment. Alabama came in with an offer very late in the game, but Coker stayed loyal to his original commitment.
I said in the Clint Trickett preview that I believe Trickett is better suited to be the backup quarterback in 2012 due to his experience in and knowledge of the offense. I stand by that.
But that's not to say Coker couldn't take the backup job with a fantastic fall camp. He certainly could. I just wouldn't peg him as the favorite.
If Coker plays a lot of meaningful snaps in 2012, something has likely gone very wrong. Heck, that sentiment is true for either backup quarterback.
I was on the fence with including Coker in this list. The deciding factor was the persistent talk that Coker was just a throw-in recruit in the 2011 class. Many seem to believe that Jameis Winston will easily overtake Coker in a year or two.
I don't believe that to be the case. Coker is a big quarterback. He has a strong arm. I'm told he has a good grasp of the offense. And perhaps the most underrated part of his game, his athleticism, is very good relative to his size. Stylistically, I see him in the mold of a Ben Rothlesberger, Dante Culpepper or late-career Donovan McNabb (all guys with excellent size and above-average mobility relative to that size).
Consider this your friendly reminder that the solid performance you saw from Coker in spring could be just a hint of what is to come.