NBA Hall of Famer and Auburn legend Charles Barkley heaped praise on Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe's handling of being benched earlier this season.

Barkley said fans should "appreciate" Milroe for still being a good teammate when he got benched for the South Florida game for poor performance and then his ability to succeed when he returned to the starting role.

"[I] want to tell his mom and dad what a good young man they raised," Barkley told "The Next Round" on Friday. "... About eight weeks ago he got benched, and I watched him before the game, and he was jumping around, cheering on the other quarterbacks, showing great energy. And he didn't complain, he was just trying to be a good teammate."

"And then when Coach Saban said, 'You know what, I tried it that other way. I'm going back to this kid. We're going to do what he [does] best,' and he just thrived. ... A fan should appreciate it but as a player, you really appreciate it because sometimes when guys get benched, they become selfish, and then when it's their time again, they're not ready. So, that kid, man, I'm really proud of him as a player."

Barkley emphasized how "proud" he was of Milroe to be able to handle the fans not wanting him to be their starter anymore amid his struggles and gave him a lot of credit for dealing with getting benched.

"I'm really proud of that young guy," he concluded.

Barkley also echoed head coach Nick Saban's belief that the SEC champion - should Alabama upset No. 1 Georgia in the championship game - deserves to be in the College Football Playoff.

"There is no way in hell you can leave an SEC champion out of the Playoff," he declared. "If Alabama wins, they deserve to go to the Playoff. I don't want to hear what Texas did to them two months ago."

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email [email protected].

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.