Jalen Milroe was left off the list of invitees for this year's Heisman Trophy ceremony, but next year could be a different story.
This year's nominees for the prestigious award recognizing college football's most outstanding player included LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, Washington quarterback Michael Penix, Jr., Oregon quarterback Bo Nix and Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr.
Milroe finished sixth in this year's Heisman voting, with only Jordan Travis from Florida State ranking higher among those who were not selected as finalists. Daniels edged out Penix to become the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner.
Some national sports sites have named Milroe among the favorites for 2024.
While listing Milroe as a favorite, USA Today wrote, "The sophomore quarterback already had a Heisman moment with his last-second touchdown pass to beat Auburn in this year's Iron Bowl. He was the top underclassmen in Heisman voting this year with 73 points."
Fox Sports' Joel Klatt said about Milroe's chances next season, "To me, this is a no-brainer."
"Just look at what Milroe can do throwing the football and moving with his legs, which have helped him evolve into a great player," he added. "From the player we saw against Texas in Week 2 to the player we saw just beat Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, he makes more good, clean decisions. That obviously pairs well with his athleticism and his ability to throw the ball really well down the field, which are only going to get better."
ESPN said of Milroe in listing its favorites, "Benched after a home loss to Texas in Week 2, Milroe regained the starting job and led the Crimson Tide to another SEC championship and CFP appearance. He has a rare combination of size (6-foot-2, 220 pounds), speed and arm strength, and he became a more effective pocket passer throughout the 2024 season. Milroe should flourish even more in offensive coordinator Tommy Rees' offense in Year 2."
After regaining the starting position back the following week, Milroe led Alabama to 10 straight wins, including a win in the SEC Championship Game over No.1 Georgia.
Milroe had a standout season as Alabama's starting quarterback, amassing 2,718 passing yards and 23 touchdowns in his first year as the starter. He also added 468 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. A second-year under first-year offensive coordinator Tommy Rees should also help Milroe thrive in the offense more than this year.
As long as Milroe continues his upward momentum he has all the attributes of a Heisman Trophy winner.
To begin with, he plays quarterback, the position that has won the Heisman Trophy 19 of the last 24 times. Milroe is also a dynamic playmaker who is good at producing the "Heisman moment" plays with his deep passes and by extending plays with his legs. Off the field, Milroe has a huge personality, along with a charismatic smile, that can help win over Heisman voters.
Milroe will get a chance to start his campaign for next year when Alabama faces Michigan in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.
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