What Happened to Joe Milton? Latest on Tennessee’s Starting QB

    Tennesse QB Joe Milton has opted out of the Citrus Bowl and has played his last game of college football. Is he headed to the 2024 NFL Draft?

    Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton has opted out of the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl and has now played his final game for the Volunteers.

    Milton led the Volunteers to an 8-4 season, finishing third in the SEC East. Tennessee rounds off their season on Jan. 1 against Iowa, which will see a changing of the guard at quarterback at Rocky Top.

    Why Isn’t Joe Milton Playing in the Citrus Bowl?

    Milton opted out of the Citrus Bowl and has declared for the NFL Draft. However, he is reportedly present with the team and supporting them from the sidelines.

    As a fifth-year senior, Joe Milton was out of eligibility following the bowl game, and he has chosen to opt out to not risk injury that could set back his draft stock. Milton has spent three seasons at Tennessee, having transferred from Michigan following the 2020 season.

    MORE: CFB Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker

    In his Instagram post declaring for the draft on Dec. 27, he said, “Playing inside Cub Neylan was amazing – the energy, the noise and especially Running Through the ‘T.’ I’m going to miss it all. Playing in the NFL has always been my dream since I was 4-years old. Now it’s time to turn those dreams into reality as I begin preparing for the 2024 NFL Draft.”

    In 12 games in 2023, Milton passed for 2,813 yards, 20 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He also rushed for 299 yards and seven touchdowns.

    It means freshman Nico Iamaleava will be the starting QB in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day. It will be his first start for the Vols, having only appeared in six games in 2023, as a reliever late in games for Milton.

    In those appearances, Iamaleava threw for 163 yards and one touchdown.

    For Milton, the next stop will be the NFL. But, he has a long preparation period ahead of him as he is not viewed as an early-round prospect.

    His scouting report on Pro Football Network states, “Milton’s arm is unbelievable. It simply does not make sense how he can generate that kind of velocity while not yet maximizing the amount he could get if he used his core and lower body more as a thrower.

    However, his NFL evaluation is not easy despite Milton’s natural gifts. He doesn’t currently appear in PFN’s Top 10 Quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft.

    PFN’s Dalton Miller goes as far as saying that Milton isn’t currently an NFL player.

    Miller explains Milton’s draft stock by saying, “There’s no hurt in spending a seventh-round pick on him or making him an undrafted free agent. His physical profile alone makes him tantalizing.”

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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