Nick Saban: Alabama 'wouldn't be here' without Jalen Milroe's transformation

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison11/28/23


Alabama vs. Georgia Preview and Prediction

Alabama is getting ready to play for the SEC Championship this week. It’s a position that head coach Nick Saban knows that team wouldn’t be in without quarterback Jalen Milroe.

Early this season, when Milroe was benched after losing to Texas, the chances he’d lead Alabama to this point seemed incredibly slim. However, he transformed as a player throughout the season.

“Sometimes you’ve got to have something bad happen to figure it all out,” Nick Saban said. “After the Texas game, when we took him out, it was a real thunderbolt or whatever you want to call it, that if you want to be our quarterback, you have to be our point guard. He’s done that, and as he’s gotten better, so has our team.”

Nick Saban played Tyler Buchner and Ty Simpson against USF after the Texas game. In that game, the Crimson Tide nearly lost behind a struggling offense and Jalen Milroe took over again the next week. Over time in the season, he got more and more confident, with Alabama winning all of its remaining regular season games.

In the Iron Bowl against Auburn to end the regular season, Alabama needed to rely on heroics from Jalen Milroe as he found Isaiah Bond in the back of the end zone on fourth down with less than a minute left to take a late lead.

“We wouldn’t be here without his transformation,” Saban concluded.

Jalen Milroe ended his regular season with 2,526 passing yards and 21 touchdowns. He also ran for 439 yards and another 12 touchdowns on the ground. On Saturday, he’ll look to take down the top team in the country, the Georgia Bulldogs, with a potential trip to the College Football Playoff on the line.

Jalen Milroe opens up on overcoming doubters to lead Alabama to great season

At one point, an 11-1 season seemed out of reach for Alabama. However, in large part because Jalen Milroe was able to overcome his doubters, the Crimson Tide were able to have an excellent season in 2023.

“Seems like a dream, not always a good dream, but a dream that I never quit believing would become a reality. From where I was, the way I was doubted — and even some people in this building [Alabama’s football complex] doubted me — it truly blows my mind to where it’s all led to, and the best part, where it’s led to for our team,” Milroe said.

“I was told I would never be the starting quarterback at Alabama. I’ve been told I was not smart enough to play the position. I’ve been told everything. Even when I was named the starter at the beginning of the season, I don’t think a lot of people thought I would keep it, and if I did, that we were going to have a bad season. So, yes, I’ve faced a lot of obstacles. The main thing is the right people believed in me, here at Alabama and within my family, and I remained grounded in believing in who I am. That takes you a long way.”