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Former UCF star McKenzie Milton transfers to FSU

“You see Florida State, the garnet and gold, it speaks for itself,” Milton told ESPN.
Former UCF star McKenzie Milton plans to transfer Florida State, ESPN reported Sunday.
Former UCF star McKenzie Milton plans to transfer Florida State, ESPN reported Sunday. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2017) ]
Published Dec. 13, 2020
Updated Dec. 14, 2020

Update, 5:15 p.m. Monday: Florida State has officially announced the addition of former UCF star quarterback McKenzie Milton as a grad transfer.

“We are fired up to have McKenzie joining our program,” FSU coach Mike Norvell said in a statement. “He is a proven leader who will help us continue to establish a culture of excellence in everything we do here at Florida State. I have seen first-hand McKenzie’s talent, competitive drive and leadership skills which will be incredibly valuable to our team on and off the field. His return from injury has been an inspiration to so many people, and we are looking forward to his next chapter here in Tallahassee.”

Milton will join FSU in January and will be eligible immediately.

“The process of competing for championships starts now, and I know it’s not going to be easy, but I’m excited for this next chapter,” Milton said in FSU’s statement. “I’m looking forward to being part of the quarterback room and supporting Jordan, Chubba and Tate. They’re going to push me to get better and I’m going to push them to get better. We’re going to hold each other accountable to do the work it takes. Just like at UCF, FSU is going to get my best effort in and out of the locker room. I couldn’t think of a better place to be than FSU.”

The original story is below.

Former UCF star quarterback McKenzie Milton is set to continue his college career in the state after announcing Sunday that he is transferring to Florida State.

Milton leaves Orlando as one of the greatest players in program history. He was one of the most dynamic players in the nation in 2017, when he guided the Knights to a perfect season and a win over Auburn in the Peach Bowl. He set UCF single-season passing records with 4,037 yards, 37 touchdowns, a 179.29 efficiency and nine games with at least 300 yards.

But the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Hawaii native’s career took an enormous detour in Tampa. During the 2018 rivalry game at USF, Milton suffered a severe right knee injury that could have resulted in having his leg amputated.

Although he has largely recovered, he has not played in a game since then. Milton did, however, serve as an honorary captain in the Knights’ regular-season finale at USF.

McKenzie Milton leaves UCF as one of the best players in Knights history.
McKenzie Milton leaves UCF as one of the best players in Knights history. [ KAIJO, CHARLIE | Tampa Bay Times ]

Dillon Gabriel shined at UCF after Milton’s injury, causing Milton to enter the transfer portal earlier this month. A week and a half later, he decided to join the Seminoles with plans to arrive on campus in January.

Related: How far Florida, Miami fell on Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot

“You see Florida State, the garnet and gold, it speaks for itself,” Milton told ESPN. “The notoriety the people that have come through there, Deion Sanders, Charlie Ward, Jameis Winston, it speaks for itself. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity. It’s something I don’t take for granted, especially what I’ve been through the past two years. It’s a very special opportunity, and I feel like we can get that thing turned around in the near future.”

FSU’s coaching staff knows firsthand what Milton can do. Seminoles coach Mike Norvell watched Milton torch his team three times when he was coaching at Memphis. Milton was 64-of-100 for 1,043 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions in three UCF victories, including a 62-55 triumph in the 2017 AAC title game. He also rushed for 145 yards and a score against Norvell.

Milton will join an interesting FSU quarterback room. The Seminoles’ top veteran is Jordan Travis, a dual-threat Louisville transfer who amassed 282 total yards and three touchdowns in Saturday’s 56-35 rout of Duke.

Two true freshmen signed by Norvell have started at various points this year, too: blue-chip prospect Chubba Purdy, who is out after having collarbone surgery, and three-star passer Tate Rodemaker.

FSU (3-6) is scheduled to end Norvell’s first season Saturday at Wake Forest.