Tennessee football and Mississippi State haven’t met since 2019, but both sides’ quarterbacks have met. The Bulldogs’ Will Rogers and Vols’ Joe Milton spent time getting to know each other.
When asked at SEC Media Days about what he learned about Milton during the passing academy, Rogers joked to begin his response.
“He’s almost got as strong of an arm as I do,” Rogers said. “I’m kidding. He’s got like the strongest arm in the world. I told one of my friends that the other day, I think pro, college it doesn’t matter. He’s got the strongest arm I’ve ever seen.”
Rogers is one of the top returning quarterbacks in the SEC. He has started 32 consecutive games for the Bulldogs.
In the 2022 season, Rodgers finished with 3,974 yards. The mark put him second in the SEC and ninth in the nation. He also threw 34 touchdowns, leading the SEC compared to just six interceptions.
Rogers knows what it takes to succeed in the SEC, and he saw Milton’s skillset at the Manning Passing Academy. He also got to spend a lot of time getting to know Milton’s character, which he spoke highly of at SEC Media Days as well.
“A really good dude too,” Rogers added. >I got to talk to him a good bit. I hope he succeeds this year.”
Milton hasn’t been a full-time starter for the Vols yet. After getting injured in 2021, and Hendon Hooker winning the job in 2022, Milton has patiently waited his turn. 2023 is that time.
After Hooker went down with a torn ACL near the end of the 2022 season, Milton was thrust into a starter role in the Vanderbilt game and the Orange Bowl against Clemson.
Against Vanderbilt, in a rainy Nashville Milton threw for 147 yards on 11-of-21 passing. Against Clemson, Milton threw for 251 yards on 19-of-28 passing.
The two performances were impressive from Milton, and they gave Tennessee fans a glimpse into what 2023 may hold for the talented quarterback.
Over the offseason, videos went viral of Milton throwing an orange over 100 yards before media day. Even at the passing academy, Milton seemed to throw the ball 100 yards with ease.
Milton and the Vols open the season with Virginia at Nissan Stadium in Nashville on Sept. 2.