Despite the hype surrounding freshman Nico Iamaleava, veteran Joe Milton is the presumed starting quarterback at Tennessee in 2023. In no small part, that’s because of his experience in the system should give him an advantage.
As spring practice is now underway, Milton spoke about just how comfortable he is in the Volunteers’ offense.
“Way more comfortable,” Joe Milton said. “But I’m the kind of person that just wants to learn more. There’s obviously something in one of the plays that I don’t know.”
This is Joe Milton’s third season in head coach Josh Heupel’s offensive system. He’s started multiple games in it, including the Orange Bowl win over Clemson. Still, he knows that there is always room to improve.
“So I want to learn that so I can be better and understand my rules, understand what’s going on.”
Even with all of that, Joe Milton will likely be pushed at the quarterback position with Nico Iamaleava behind him. After all, the freshman has already said, “It’s my job to go out there and compete and be ready when my number is called. Anything can happen this season.”
At the same time, Iamaleava doesn’t have the same type of experience in the offense as Milton and has admitted that it’s difficult to figure out the tempo.
Joe Milton is mentoring Nico Iamaleava
Since Nico Iamaleava has stepped onto campus, Joe Milton has mentored him, even taking on a big brother role.
“Go make mistakes. It’s football. At the end of the day it’s football. Nico comes to me every night, right after meetings, he asks me questions about the script. I’m willing to help any way I can. That’s just me, personally,” Milton said.
“But for any freshman in the country, it doesn’t have to be just for Tennessee, go make a mistake. You never know what’s going to happen. Keep being you. It’s not like high school, things [are] sped up but at the same time it’s football. Go learn what you need to learn and do what you need to do.”
Joe Milton continued to praise Nico Iamaleava, bringing up how smart the freshman is.
“He’s very impressive. He’s intelligent. He wants to understand what’s going on. He don’t want to be out there and just have his head on a swivel all day. He wants to understand what’s going on. He wants to know everything I know, so I help him out.”
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