A little more than a year removed from quarterbacking Alabama to college football’s national championship, Jake Coker has decided to put the sport behind him.
The 24-year-old Coker saw his chances of making the team with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals fizzle last summer due to a knee injury that required surgery. The Mobile native said in a radio interview Thursday that he’s taken a job with Cooper Marine and Timberlands in Creola, and has no plans to attempt a comeback in professional football.
“I’m just going to move on,” Coker said on The Tide & Tiger Report on WNSP-FM 105.5 in Mobile. “I had another surgery when I was with the Cardinals, and that was kind of the last thing. I didn’t want another surgery. I’m just kind of ready to move on. I’m excited about what’s ahead.”
Coker starred at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, the same high school that produced fellow Alabama national championship quarterback AJ McCarron. He initially signed with Florida State, spending three years with the Seminoles before departing for Alabama as a graduate transfer in 2014.
Coker won a BCS national title as the back-up to Florida State Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston in 2013, and was also the No. 2 quarterback on Alabama’s 2014 SEC championship team. He took over as the starter as a fifth-year senior in 2015, leading the Crimson Tide to a 14-1 record and its 16th national championship.
Coker started the 2016 Senior Bowl in his hometown of Mobile following his career at Alabama, but went undrafted before signing as a rookie free agent with the Cardinals. Despite never taking a regular-season NFL snap, he said his football dreams were fulfilled.
“To be honest with you, my main goal in football was to win a national championship at Alabama,” Coker said. ‘That was my dream growing up and I got to fulfill that. I have no regrets with what I’ve done or what I’m doing now. I had a blast doing it and I couldn’t be more happy with the outcome.”
Coker said will make an appearance at Alabama’s A-Day spring game on Saturday, participating in the celebrity dodgeball game scheduled for halftime at Bryant-Denny Stadium. On Tuesday, he will introduce keynote speaker Nick Saban at the annual Team Focus fundraiser at the Mobile Convention Center.
You can hear the complete interview with Jake Coker by clicking HERE.