Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe’s rise from benched to irreplaceable

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — As his laser of a touchdown pass sailed toward the left corner of the end zone Saturday in Alabama’s miraculous Iron Bowl win, Jalen Milroe’s season flashed before his eyes.

In real time, amid the euphoria of the Crimson Tide’s 27-24 victory over Auburn, it was more like a blur.

But as Milroe traces back through the windstorm that he endured to get to where he is now, including being benched for the third game of the season, it’s almost as if it all transpired in slow motion.

The irony is that Milroe is the antithesis of slow motion. He’s one of college football’s most dynamic players — as well as one of its most improved players — and is the cornerstone of Alabama’s transformation into a College Football Playoff contender.

“Seems like a dream, not always a good dream, but a dream that I never quit believing would become a reality,” Milroe told ESPN. “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, who is rarely without a big smile, slowly shook his head when thinking about all the things he was told he wasn’t along the way, even going back to his high school days.

“I was told I would never be the starting quarterback at Alabama,” he said. “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.

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