Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe, who just announced he is staying in Tuscaloosa after the stunning retirement of the GOAT, Nick Saban, not only has the physical skills but the intangibles needed for greatness. He is absolutely the leading candidate to win the 2024 Heisman Trophy.
Five Reasons Why Jalen Milroe Will Win the 2024 Heisman
An Unlikely Story
Sometimes the unlikeliest stories have predictable outcomes once the story is no longer as unlikely as it was previously thought to be. Last season when Milroe filled in for an injured Bryce Young, it appeared to most that he was a big guy with a big arm who could run but didn’t really know how to play the quarterback position. That perception carried over to this season that just concluded.
Milroe was benched after a home loss to Texas. Fortunately for him, his replacement didn’t fare well and Milroe was reinstated as the starter. Since then he’s been on a tear. We’re discounting his performance in the Rose Bowl against Michigan. He was far from terrible and played against a historically great defense. He just didn’t play at the same level as he had in the previous several weeks leading up to that game.
What separates Milroe from his peers is his attitude. When he got benched, there wasn’t a peep out of him. When Nick Saban retired and Alabama hired Kaleb DeBoer as their new head coach, Milroe announced almost immediately that he was staying put.
Having intangibles like having your head on straight (not a given these days), strong leadership, and a team mentality are all traits that put Jalen Milroe at the top of the list of Heisman favorites going into the 2024 season.
Something To Prove
Saban has retired and former Washington Huskies coach DeBoer takes over the program trying to fill Shaq-sized shoes.
After a multi-turnover performance in a home loss to Texas, quarterback Jalen Milroe was benched for the road game at South Florida. There, his replacement didn’t set the world on fire and he was reinstated as the starter. From there Milroe never looked back. He finished his first season as the starter with 2,834 passing yards to go with 23 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. He also rushed for 531 yards and 12 touchdowns.
There is already talk that Milroe is not a fit in DeBoer’s offense and that quarterback Will Rodgers could follow DeBoer to Tuscaloosa. However, DeBoer already said publicly that he would tailor his offense to the personnel. More importantly, Milroe is much better than Will Rodgers.
All of the factors listed above mean that Milroe will be highly motivated to prove that last year’s success was not just the result of being coached up by Saban. Milroe is a man on a mission.
Size Matters, as Does Skill
Jalen Milroe is a big man. Standing six-foot-two and weighing 220 pounds, he possesses a big arm, great speed, and is a load to tackle. Coming to Alabama out of high school, he was a talented but raw prospect. In limited action during the 2022 season, he looked to be exactly that. But after reclaiming the starting job, the proverbial light came on and he hasn’t looked back.
The fourth and thirty-one completion to win The Iron Bowl was a Heisman moment had he been one of the leading candidates last season. Expect more of the same from Milroe this coming season.
Competition Matters, Too
The always-loaded SEC adds Texas and Oklahoma in 2024. While The Crimson Tide won’t have a chance to avenge their loss to Texas, they do have a late-season road trip to Oklahoma. They also have matchups against the usual opponents LSU and Tennessee as well as a game against Missouri and the big dog, Georgia Bulldogs.
This daunting schedule will give Milroe more than enough opportunities to show what he’s made of. A drop-off in defensive performance with Saban gone should mean more high-scoring affairs for The Tide, giving Milroe even more chances to put up big numbers.
Dual-Threat Means Hardware
Jalen Milroe will have no shortage of opportunities to have his Heisman moment or moments. We already know he has it in him after the game-winner against Auburn.
As always, the upcoming college football season will be exciting and full of drama. With another year of experience under his belt, a new coach with a history of fielding prolific offenses, and a schedule that will test all of his abilities, expect Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe to pass all of the required tests and take home the Heisman Trophy in December.
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