Alabama, Kiffin Start Phase 1 of QB Search

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama's search for quarterback AJ McCarron's replacement has begun.

The Crimson Tide opened spring practice Saturday with new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Lane Kiffin working with five potential successors.

Perhaps the most prominent candidate, Florida State transfer Jake Coker, won't enroll until this summer.

Alabama coach Nick Saban says "the quarterback competition this spring is going to be something that a lot of people are going to get a lot of opportunity at." He says Coker will have a shot at winning the starting job, too.

The five spring contenders include freshman David Cornwell and last year's backup Blake Sims. They're working under Kiffin, the former Tennessee and Southern California head coach.

Saban says center Chad Lindsay has decided to transfer after starting four games last season.