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No. 3 DT QB Jalen Milroe’s commitment kickstarts 2021 Texas recruiting

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The commitment of Quay Davis was important, but there’s no more important pledge in a class than quarterback. And the Horns are already benefiting from Milroe’s decision.

Jalen Milroe
247Sports

On Sunday, the Texas Longhorns took a large and important step in assembling the 2021 recruiting class when Katy Tompkins quarterback Jalen Milroe, the nation’s No. 3 dual-threat quarterback, pledged to the Longhorns.

Quarterbacks traditionally commit early to help the coaching staff of their choice in recruiting, so Milroe’s early decision wasn’t surprising from that standpoint, but his recruitment came to a close without an announced decision date. In fact, the first of seven 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions came in on Friday as word started to get out about Milroe’s commitment video.

Texas now has three scholarship quarterbacks on campus and three more committed in the 2020 and 2021 classes, another testament to the elite recruiting ability of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tim Beck at the position.

The 6’1.5, 194-pounder isn’t the highest-rated quarterback in the state — that distinction belongs to Dallas Parish Episcopal gunslinger Preston Stone, the top dual-threat quarterback in the country — but given the strong positioning for Texas with Stone, taking Milroe’s commitment after offering him in the middle of June says multitudes about the Houston-area product’s upside and mental makeup.

His offer list says a lot about the esteem in which staffs across the country hold Milroe. The only three offers from Alabama to dual-threat quarterbacks are to the top-ranked prospects at that position in the country. Florida, Florida State, Nebraska, Oregon, and Texas A&M are among the other programs to officially court the strong-armed passer, too.

In an interview with Inside Texas, Milroe describes himself as gritty, coachable, and hard working — he has the elite mindset that earned him those offers from Alabama and Texas, while making him an early take for the Longhorns. And that deserves some further emphasis, because Beck and Tom Herman are both high-level quarterback coaches and evaluators. So if they believe in Milroe as the leader of this class and a potential future impact player for the Horns, then they deserve the benefit of the doubt in that regard.

“Me and Coach Beck we had been talking all spring; building the relationship, talking over the phone,” Milroe told IT. “I went down to UT and talked to him. I was able to hear his coaching style. I looked at the philosophy of the program and how things are going. I like Coach Beck, I like Coach Herman. I like how Coach Herman is on and off the field. For me, the best thing about Texas is it’s at home. My family will be able to come see me play. What I also liked about Texas is the program itself and what Texas has for its athletes.”

As always, a quarterback commit immediately becomes the lead recruiter for the class. With Milroe, that’s the case once again. And he’s a perfect candidate to help land top Houston-area talent in the 2021 class — he’s teammates with top-50 prospect Tunmise Adeleye, an elite strong-side defensive end target who would fit perfectly in Todd Orlando’s system.

Adeleye happens to have a high opinion of Milroe as a recruiter:

Milroe is also friends with some of the high-level offensive linemen in his class, including Katy Taylor teammates Hayden Conner and Bryce Foster. So it was no surprise when Conner committed less than two days after Milroe, who even made an appearance in Conner’s commitment video. Not a coincidence.

Top-40 prospect Donovan Jackson, an offensive tackle from Houston Episcopal, fits on that list as well, even though he doesn’t have the same type of long-term connection to Milroe.

Here’s the evaluation of Milroe from Burnt Orange Nation’s Joe Hamilton as a prospect:

There’s no other way to put it — Jalen Milroe is an absolute playmaker at the quarterback position and embodies all of the traits coaches want in a true dual-threat quarterback. He exemplifies a true leadership mentality, commands the attention and respect of his entire team, and holds everyone accountable, including himself. More than anything, you can tell that Milroe thoroughly loves the game and genuinely has fun while playing it at such a young age, which is why he was able to put together a sensational sophomore season that put him and the Katy Tompkins football program on the map. Milroe helped transform a Tompkins program that was winless during his freshman year into a playoff-bound promising squad that went 10-3 last season. The four-star prospect finished his first season on varsity with 1,420 yards through the air, another 609 yards on the ground, and 20 total touchdowns.

With his nearly 6’2, 194-pound plus frame, Milroe fits the mold of what today’s college quarterbacks look like with much more to add to it. Versatile and dynamic are two key words that explain the type of player Milroe is, because he can hurt opposing defenses in a multitude of ways.

The newly committed Longhorn possesses some serious speed and elusiveness whenever he feels pressure arriving in the pocket. Having the ability to escape danger swiftly and being an instinctual home run threat is a huge reason why many of the top college programs were targeting Milroe. Being able to improvise and keep plays alive is a quality that can make or break some players behind center because of the new wave of athletes that come off the edge in today’s game and Milroe has shown us early that he’s fully capable of doing that.

Milroe is also an intelligent football player that understands the game well to just be heading into his junior year of high school. While he didn’t put up massive passing numbers last season as a sophomore, he still showed so much potential as an all-around quarterback, specifically in the passing department. Milroe’s formidable arm-strength jumps out at you when he delivers the ball, as he just downright rips the pigskin. Because he’s able to put a great deal of velocity on his passes, Milroe has the aptitude to fit the football in tiny windows to his wideouts on the high school level. Milroe is also an impressive thrower that can lay it out deep with precise touch and is nowhere near a finished product. He’s an exceptionally promising recruit with obvious upside, but he will need to continue to be more consistent with his mechanics and decision making. Milroe will also need to be a more accurate passer on 10-15 yard throws — at times the ball gets away from him because he has so much force behind his throws.

At the end of the day, Milroe is a natural when it comes to competing on the gridiron and is far from a finished product with two seasons of high school football in front of him. The best is yet to come for the nation’s No. 3 dual-threat quarterback, according to 247Sports Composite.