Katy Tompkins’ Jalen Milroe is the face of Texas’ 2021 class. The four-star dual-threat quarterback pledged to the Longhorns last July and immediately became an extra recruiter for Tom Herman’s staff. He joined numerous 2021 commitments and targets on campus Saturday to take in the basketball game against Kansas and meet the new staff.
“It was an amazing trip. It feels like coming back home,” Milroe said. “I try to build relationships with every coach on the staff, not just offensive guys. Each coach talked about the Texas program and how it is evolving. They talked about the short-term and long-term goals.”
Milroe was given a preview of the expected tweaks for the offense under new offensive coordinator Mike Yurchich, who joined the staff from Ohio State and will call plays for the Longhorns.
“I talked one-on-one with coach Yurchich about reading defenses, chalk-board stuff and going over film. It was my first time meeting him,” Milroe said. “I love Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields, and I’m confident in my ability to translate into his offense. It’s going to be a high-speed offense and we’re going to get the ball to our skill guys.”
Texas holds seven commitments for the 2021 class. The Longhorns didn’t lose a single pledge in the 2021 cycle despite the coaching changes, and Milroe credits that to one man and his vision for the future.
“I knew coach Herman would do what was best for the program,” he said. “He’s doing a great job with the staff. They all seemed personable. I feel like they are all genuine and everyone is on the same page.”
Milroe is likely the only quarterback Texas will sign in 2021 since the Longhorns signed a pair of four-stars in Hudson Card and Ja’Quinden Jackson for 2020. The 6-1, 194-pound winner led Tompkins to consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in school history. He was the District 19-6A newcomer of the year as a sophomore and its MVP as a junior.
Those accolades earned him an invitation to the underclassmen showcase in the week leading up to the All-American Bowl in San Antonio earlier this month. There, Milroe met UT legend Vince Young and was able to hear him speak to the next generation of stars.
“Hearing from Vince at the All-American Bowl was amazing because I could relate to his story. We’re both quarterbacks from Houston who chose Texas,” Milroe said. “To hear him talk about the Texas program and how much he loved it once he was on campus was great. I’ve always been a big fan of Vince Young. I wrote a book report about him in fourth grade. I’ve always wanted to meet him, so it was surreal for me.”
Milroe doesn’t want to be compared to Young. But he does want to follow a similar path to championships and legendary status. That’s what he’s doing in high school, building a reputation as a leader on and off the field to his peers. He’s passed for 4,109 yards and 39 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions in two years as a varsity starter. He’s added 987 yards and 18 touchdowns on 197 rushing attempts.
“I’m trying to be the best version of myself. I look up to him and I’m hoping to do those same things for Texas,” Milroe said. “He’s set the foundation for quarterbacks like me to be successful.”
Like Young, Milroe views the game of football as a passion of love with a chance to change his life if he reaches the NFL.
“Football is a chance for me to provide for my family. I’ve been playing this game since I was four years old and I love it,” he said. “The only thing that changes is the size of the ball and the game speed. The rest is the same. It teaches you life skills like teamwork and communication.”