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Alabama Football Impact Players

Alabama WR Jermaine Burton highlights Jalen Milroe’s arm strength as marquee positive at quarterback

Photo comes via SEC Media Portal

Jalen Milroe gets a second opportunity to prove to himself and the Alabama fans he’s the guy for the starting quarterback role.

He earned it back by his leadership on the sideline in last week’s matchup against South Florida. Nick Saban said the redshirt sophomore has performed the best of all the quarterbacks, but can he deliver a flawless outing? After struggles against Texas and South Florida, the Crimson Tide begins its Southeastern Conference schedule with Mississippi. The matchup is Saturday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss’ head coach, watched Mac Jones (2020) and Bryce Young (2021, 2022) rip chances away from his team to beat Alabama. Now, the former Tide offensive coordinator encounters Milroe.

RELATED: Jalen Milroe is officially Alabama’s starting QB moving forward

He completed 60 percent of his passes (27-of-45) in two games for 449 yards with five touchdowns.

He’s been intercepted twice and has two rushing touchdowns. Tommy Rees has to call an offensive game plan that fits what Milroe does well, but his deep ball has impressed teammates so far. Three of Milroe’s five scoring tosses have come on passes 20+ yards downfield. He’s been able to display touch on his throws, allowing wide receivers and tight ends to track it and finish plays. 

Jermaine Burton, a senior, has one of Milroe’s deep-scoring tosses.

He explained to reporters on Tuesday what goes into the success of Milroe’s deep ball in games.

“Jalen is strong so he can throw that thing far,” Burton said. “That boy is strong.”

Burton could not put a number on how far Milroe throws the ball; however, he’s just impressed by his quarterback’s ability to launch it and allow the receivers to make a play.

“We play around in the indoor facility, and he’s launching that thing,” Burton said. “So I don’t know how far, but it’s far.”

RELATED: Jalen Milroe’s high school coach says he’s ‘locked in’ on Alabama’s QB competition

Milroe has to have time to launch passes as Pete Golding will have Ole Miss ready to pressure him.

Alabama’s offensive line was discussed as a marquee strength in the offseason, but it has not played like it. If the guys up front give Milroe time and he makes quick decisions, the Tide’s offense can find a rhythm against the Rebels.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith. 

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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