QB Town to USC; Coker joins Bama
Elite 11 Los Angeles: Ricky Town
While USC continues to put the finishing touches on their 2014 recruiting class with signing day less than two weeks away, the Trojans began to build a foundation for 2015 on Saturday night.
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The Jacob Coker to Alabama rumors have been circling for quite some time, but now that it's official, Jameis Winston's understudy has to live up to some pretty incredible hype, Alex Scarborough writes. Blog
Consider it a major coup for USC to flip Ricky Town from Alabama, especially since the Trojans have had such a hard time recruiting quarterbacks recently, Blair Angulo writes. Blog
New coach Steve Sarkisian landed a verbal commitment from quarterback Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure), the No. 2-rated pocket passer -- and No. 22 overall prospect -- in the ESPN Junior 300, who decommited from Alabama earlier in the day.
"I'm proud to be a part of the Trojan Family!" Town said via text. "I've seen many of the top programs and what they have to offer. However, when I had the chance to get on the USC campus last week and spend time with Coach Sarkisian and his staff, I knew after those meetings that USC is where I want to be. The coaches are upbeat, focused and committed to winning and I completely believe in them. I chose USC because of the tradition, the academics and the incredible coaching staff. This is an amazing opportunity to be a part of something really special. Fight On!"
Meanwhile, former Florida State quarterback Jacob Coker was in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday and signed with the Crimson Tide on Sunday, coach Nick Saban announced.
Coker is on target to graduate in May and would be eligible to play for the Tide in 2014.
Town had been wavering on his commitment since Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier left to take the same position at Michigan. The talented quarterback also held offers from Arizona State, USC, Georgia, Florida State, Miami, Texas and a host of others.
The Trojans have held a commitment from 2015 quarterback David Sills (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) for nearly four years since he committed as a 13-year-old, but Sills gave his pledge to former coach Lane Kiffin, now the offensive coordinator at Alabama.
Coker, who is from Mobile, Ala., backed up Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston this past season. The sophomore played sparingly and injured his knee late in the year.
"We think a lot of Jake and we are excited to have him join our team," said Saban. "He is not only an outstanding football player, but he is also a fine young man who we feel will be a great fit with our program at Alabama."
Shortly after Florida State won the national title, the school released him from his scholarship.
Coker's high school coach, Steve Mask of St. Paul's Episcopal School in Mobile, says Coker spent the weekend in Tuscaloosa after Saban visited the quarterback at his home earlier in the week.
"I was very impressed with everything on my visit to Tuscaloosa," Coker said in a statement released by Alabama. "I feel very comfortable with the coaches and the players, and I'm looking forward to getting started at Alabama and competing. I also want to thank my coaches and teammates at Florida State. I had a great experience there and I'm excited to build on that at Alabama."
Alabama is looking to replace Heisman finalist AJ McCarron, who also went to St. Paul's.
Coker is on target to graduate in the spring and would be eligible to play next season.
Alabama is still off to a strong start to its 2015 class. Even without Town, Alabama has four commitments and all of them are ranked in the ESPN Junior 300.
ESPN.com's Derek Tyson, Erik McKinney, Alex Scarborough and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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