Jake Coker is one of very few who can say they know both Alabama coach Nick Saban and Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher extremely well.
That makes the newly retired QB, who won a national title as the starter for Alabama after transferring away from Florida State, a pretty intriguing person to talk with in the weeks leading up to the sure-to-be epic season-opening clash between the Crimson Tide and Seminoles at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
On Wednesday, popular Birmingham morning show “The Opening Drive” landed an interview with Coker, and picked his brain on a wide variety of Crimson Tide-related topics.
One of the things they wanted to know about was the similarities and difference in playing for Nick Saban as opposed to playing for Jimbo Fisher.
“[Being at] FSU is kinda like playing defense at Alabama,” Coker explained. “Coach Fisher is all about the quarterbacks. He’s teaching the QBs, and Coach Saban is with the DBs and he’s real heavy on the DBs. They’re both very detail-oriented and very focused.
“I think Coach Saban is the best defensive coach I’ve ever been around and Coach Fisher is the best offensive mind I’ve ever been around. They’re two of the best coaches in college football and it’s gonna be a helluva game.”
“It’s pretty similar,” Coker said of playing for each coach. “I’d say Coach Fisher is a little bit more antsy. I got some of the best ass-rippings I’ve ever received from Coach Fisher. That’s probably just because he coached quarterbacks a little more than Coach Saban. They’re pretty dang similar.”
Coker also was asked about the performance of Jalen Hurts, who replaced him as a true freshman in 2016.
“It’s always really impressive when a true freshman can come in and start,” Coker said. “Especially at Alabama, and to lead Alabama to the national championship game is not something a lot of 18 year olds are capable of doing.
“I was really proud of the way he was able to come on and play like a veteran, especially later on in the season. I think this year he’s going to progress, and we’ve just as good of a shot to go just as far.”
In case you’re wondering what Coker is up to in life after football, he told The Morning Drive that he’s taken a job in Mobile working with an industrial company focused on work in papermills and wood yards. He also said he was “done with football.”
“My ultimate dream with football was realized at Alabama,” he said.
You can listen to the entire interview here:
— WJOX 94.5 FM (@WJOX945) August 16, 2017