The top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (10-0, 7-0 SEC) may seem like an obvious choice to take this year’s title.
After all, they’ve captured the last two national championships and have seemed all but invincible against even the NCAA’s toughest competition.
However, after a rough start to the season, the Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1, 7-0) is back in contending form and ready to threaten the Dawgs once again. It’s thanks in no small part to star quarterback Jalen Milroe, an athletic runner with a cannon arm who has found another gear this fall. Milroe might derail the Bulldogs’ national championship hopes if he can help pull off an upset win in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta on Dec. 2.
But who is Jalen Milroe? Here are 10 facts that may shed light on the rapidly rising superstar.
1. Milroe is a native of Katy, Texas, located near Houston. Also hailing from Katy is another prominent passer, the “Red Rifle” himself, NFL quarterback Andy Dalton.
2. Milroe has found success in Tuscaloosa, but the Lone Star State will always hold a special place in his heart. He said as much before this year’s game at Texas A&M.
“Texas is a great place,” he said on Oct. 2. “That’s where I was born and raised. I’m from Texas, love Texas. I will have a lot of family there. It’s going to be a great game, great atmosphere down in Texas.”
3. Milroe was originally committed to Texas, the only team to beat Alabama so far this season. It was only after quarterback Drake Maye flipped from Alabama to North Carolina that the Tide flipped the ESPN 300 recruit Milroe from the Longhorns. Coincidentally, he was recruited by then-Bama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who’s now the head coach at Texas.
4. In another UT connection, Milroe’s father cited Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns’ championship win over USC as being his son’s motivation.
“We moved to Katy, Texas in 2005,” Jalen Milroe’s father Quentin Milroe said, as reported by WVTM. “Jalen was only about 3 years old, but his eyes lit up when he saw Vince Young play for the Longhorns. When Jalen watched Vince Young and the Horns win a national championship in January of 2006, he was hooked.”
5. Milroe, a speedy and powerful runner, was listed as a pocket passer by ESPN when he was being recruited. 247 Sports, however, evaluated Milroe as a “true dual-threat with necessary tools as a passer and runner.”
6. Despite his Texas roots, Milroe has captured Tide fans’ attention with his enthusiastic “Roll Tide” after each win.