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Saban names Sims starter against WVU

Blake Sims will start at quarterback for Alabama when it kicks off the season against West Virginia, coach Nick Saban told ESPN’s Tom Luginbill.

Sims, a fifth-year senior, earned the start ahead of Jake Coker, a redshirt junior who transferred to Alabama this summer after getting his undergraduate degree at Florida State.

“Both guys have done really well in fall camp and there’s still a quarterback competition on our team, I don’t think there’s any question about that,” Saban said. “But we needed to get our team ready to play this game with the most knowledge and experience, which Blake Sims has been in the system longer, is a little more comfortable and plays with a little better rhythm.

“Jake is still sort of learning and growing.”

Saban said the plan is to start Sims and evaluate the position from there, though he didn’t commit to playing Coker.

“We’ll see how [Sims] does and make the decisions and judgements from there,” Saban said.

It’s important to note that, as Saban said, the competition is still ongoing. In all likelihood it will be something that plays out over the next three weeks. Alabama is a multi-touchdown favorite over West Virginia and will be a heavy favorite in Week 2 against Florida Atlantic and again Week 3 against Southern Miss.

In other words, there’s no rush. Alabama’s date with Florida is far enough away not to panic.

But for today at least, it’s the veteran Sims who gets the nod. And why not? He’s bided his time and should know the offense best. He has more friends in the locker room and deserves the chance to show what he can do with meaningful snaps.