AUSTIN, Texas — Quarterbacks have always been the storyline when Texas and Alabama meet.
It's been that way since the 2009 National Championship game at the Rose Bowl, when the inevitable "what ifs" emerged after Heisman finalist Colt McCoy got hurt early on, leading the Longhorns to use freshman Garrett Gilbert en route to a 37-21 loss.
In 2022, a new "what if" was born after current Longhorn quarterback Quinn Ewers was knocked out in the first half of the team's matchup with Alabama in Week 2.
In 2023, to no surprise, quarterbacks are still the hot topic. Except this time, it isn't about injuries.
Alabama's starting quarterback, Houston native Jalen Milroe, was once committed to the Longhorns.
In July 2019, Milroe dropped the above video, hoping to be the next great quarterback at Texas – just like the guy he looked up to growing up.
Milroe's first jersey was Vince Young's, and anyone who's watched Milroe play will surely understand why. He has modeled his game after Young and wanted to hoist a national championship trophy for the burnt orange, just like his role model.
Sounded like a great story – until two years later.
After spending his freshman year at Ohio State, five-star Southlake Carroll graduate Quinn Ewers decided to come home. So with Ewers now at Texas – presumably as the starter – Milroe decided to flip his commitment to Alabama three days later.
At the time, there was an offensive coordinator in Tuscaloosa who had been recruiting Milroe for years. His name was Steve Sarkisian.
Only thing is, Milroe didn't know that Sarkisian had some other plans.
With Sark now in Austin, Milroe opted not to chase the coordinator that was just chasing him the prior two years and instead stayed in Tuscaloosa.
Which leads us to the matchup on Saturday: Milroe vs. Ewers. Aside from the national title implications Saturday's matchup holds, it will also be fascinating to see how Milroe performs against the man who made him reconsider his future on the Forty Acres.