Could Alex Orji be Michigan football's Jalen Milroe?

One college football analyst has been hearing positive rumblings about Michigan football quarterback Alex Orji.
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Alex Orji (10) against the Washington
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Alex Orji (10) against the Washington / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest unknowns about Michigan football heading into the 2024 season is the quarterback position. Five guys could make a claim for the starting job next season in what could be one of the most interesting QB battles in college football.

Alex Orji, the former three-star quarterback ranked No. 493 overall in the 2022 class according to the 247 Sports composite rankings, is one of the QBs that will be in the mix. He got some playing time last season, mostly as a runner, but according to Clint Brewster of 247 Sports, Orji isn't just a one-trick pony, at least according to someone close to the Michigan football program.

Brewster posted on X that he was told by someon at Michigan that Orji "will be Jalen Milroe but a more natural passer."

If Alex Orji can throw, then watch out

If that's the case, Michigan football won't even need a quarterback from the transfer portal. The 6-foot-2, 226-pounder is a freak athlete and in two seasons as a backup, Orji has rushed 23 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Orji had a 13-yard rush in the national title game as well as a 20-yard run against Ohio State, plus a 16-yard pickup against Michigan State.

Orji didn't attempt any passes last season but if Orji can be effective as a thrower too, he would have tons of potential as the Michigan starter. The offensive line is going to be really good and if you have Orji with Donovan Edwards and Kalel Mullings in the zone-read game (J.J. McCarthy wasn't a real threat to keep often for health reasons) it could give defenses fits.


Jayden Denegal, another 2022 QB signee has also drawn praise, as has Davis Warren, Jack Tuttle, and incoming freshman top-100 recruit Jadyn Davis. They all have their own case to make but if Orji can be a true dual-threat, he'll be hard to beat out for the job.