Alabama QBs become teammates for Senior Bowl
Alabama quarterback Blake Sims scrambles against Missouri during the SEC title game in Atlanta.(Photo: Getty Images)
Though the Reese’s Senior Bowl will feature a handful of revisions including new rules and new jerseys the most captivating factor for area college football fans might be the quarterbacks on the South team’s roster.
Alabama’s Blake Sims and Auburn’s Nick Marshall.
It marks the first time in a half century that an Auburn and Alabama quarterback have been on the same team at the same time in a Senior Bowl. The last time it happened in 1965 featured an Alabama quarterback named Joe Willie Namath. Auburn had Jimmy Sidle in the game.
Executive director Phil Savage emphasized that point Monday at the introductory press conference in Mobile.
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“With six quarterbacks on board for the (66th) Senior Bowl this year, it’s the first time in 50 years an Alabama and Auburn quarterback are on the roster together,” Savage said.
It will be an unusual experience for South team receiver Sammie Coates who ranks No. 4 in the nation in yards per catch with 21.79 as he will be catching passes this week from practice from a teammate and a rival.
Also playing wide receiver in the game, No. 1 ranked Devin Smith (Ohio State) with 28.21 yards per catch, and No. 2 Phillip Dorsett (Miami) with 24.19.
Coates acknowledged the acclimation he would face in competing alongside a quarterback besides Marshall.
Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall (14) gets ready to unleash a pass. (Photo: AP Photo)
“I don’t think it will be too tough (to get used to another QB),” the Leroy (Ala.) native said. “Just gotta get used to another guy throwing at me.
“Nick (Marshall) is a freak athlete,” Coates said. “He can throw and he is very quick. He is one of those guys that if you give him a chance, he is gonna show you what he can do. I’m looking forward to watching him play out here.”
Joining Sims and Marshall on the south team, Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson carries the biggest physical frame of the trio of quarterbacks.
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The North quarterbacks are headlined by Baylor’s Bryce Petty, in addition to Sean Mannion (Oregon State) and Shane Carden (East Carolina).
Savage described the Senior Bowl as an opportunity for the quarterbacks, and the rest of the players to be a pro for the week.
“(This week) players have to practice, perform community service and they have to produce on game day,” Savage said. “If you can do those things in professional football, then you have a chance to make a living. This is the first time that these players have a chance to really experience that in this type of setting.”