Former UCF quarterback Mackenzie Milton plans to move to Florida, ESPN reported on Sunday.
Milton, who has not been able to play for the last two years during his rehabilitation after a devastating injury to his right leg, said he chose Seminole because it was a great opportunity to play at the highest level in one of the most historic teams in university football.
You see Florida, grenades and gold, it goes without saying, Milton said in an exclusive interview. The fame of the people who lived it, Deion Sanders, Charlie Ward, James Winston, speaks for itself. I’m very grateful for this opportunity. It’s something I don’t take for granted, especially with what I’ve been through the last two years. This is a very special occasion, and I feel that we can turn the tide in the near future.
– Mackenzie Milton (@McKenzieMil10) 13. December 2020.
Last week, Milton announced that he was entering his final selection year and was looking for a chance to play for the starting quarterback. He said the Florida state bus, Mike Norval, and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham contacted him on the first day his name appeared on the broadcast portal.
As a UCF starter for three years, from 2016 to 18, Milton was familiar with Norval’s work when he was in Memphis.
Although he had never been to campus in person, Milton took a virtual tour and soon decided he wanted to play for Seminoles in order to run the program.
That’s what I’m really interested in and I know they have big players, Milton said. They are trying to figure out how to win, and they had a good win against Duke on Saturday, but I think I can bring a little experience to some of these young cats and be a good teammate and hope the ball turns there.
Milton dislocated his right knee during a match against USF in November 2018 and suffered ligamentary, nerve and arterial injuries. He made his way and led the UCF-scout team last season, hoping to get another chance to be a quarterback. But when it became increasingly clear that Dillon Gabriel was the future of UCF, Milton decided that it would be best for everyone to move on.
He walks 3 ½ hours northwest of Orlando and keeps it in his state and on familiar ground. He said that Norval asked him how he felt physically, and Milton replied that I felt they trusted my head and where I was with him. When I’m up there, I have to meet the team doctors, but I’m sure I’ll go through everything they throw at me.
The state of Florida has had a difficult time lately and is currently on its way to the last scheduled game of the season against Wake Forest on Saturday with a 3-6 tie. When Milton left UCF, he said he wanted to go to a team that would win with a strong offensive line. He said he saw them both at Seminole’s.
As for the quarterback position, Milton said he had no guarantee of a starting position. This season, Florida has played against four different quarterbacks: James Blackman, Jordan Travis and freshmen Chubba Purdy and Tate Rodmaker. Travis has started most of the matches, and Blackman has already announced that he intends to transform.
I’m going to have to go out and make money, but that’s not what they said, and that’s not what I want, Milton said. I want to make a living, I want to earn the respect of the boys, and I just want to be a good teammate for the other quarterbacks, like I was at UCF. At the end of the day, whether it’s me or one of the others, it’s my job to go out there every day, make money and hope I do.
Milton is currently back in Hawaii, where he trains with his local quarterback coach and spends time with his family. He said his plan was to register and be on campus for training in January so he could learn the game manual and get to know his teammates. And he soon pointed out that the state of Florida will start the 2021 season with a weekend game against Notre Dame on December 5. September is open.
I know it won’t be at night, but I don’t think they’re far from schedule, Milton said. Coach Norval is going in the right direction, and I think I have some experience in how to win and what it takes to do it, as well as that work ethic. I’m not going to go out there and wait for this or that, I just want to be the best member of the team, and all the knowledge I can give to these young people, I’m in them.