Quarterback McKenzie Milton’s decision to transfer from the University of Central Florida has already sparked interest, his father said.
Milton entered the NCAA transfer portal on Thursday and announced in an ESPN interview his intention to make the switch.
“The phone is already ringing,” Mark Milton told the Star Advertiser. “It will be an interesting one in the coming weeks. He will take his time and see where the right fit is. “
Some early speculation focused on Nebraska. Scott Frost, the Nebraska coach, recruited Milton for UCF in 2016 and publicly offered Milton the opportunity to coach last month when his playing days are over.
Milton was the Knights’ starting quarterback for three seasons before sustaining severe knee, ligament, and nerve damage to his right knee during a November 2018 game. He hasn’t played since then, but has made a significant recovery to the point that he could lead the UCF scout team this fall and there was speculation he would be playing towards the end of the season.
In the ESPN interview, Milton said he decided to look elsewhere for 2021 instead of contesting the starting quarterback job with fellow Mililani High graduate Dillon Gabriel. ‘I know my clock is ticking. I only have one more year to play, and the momentum Dillon has I wouldn’t want any controversy in the dressing room. He has earned the right to be the starter here at UCF. I see that, and I think it’s best for both UCF and myself that I go elsewhere. I’m trying to pursue the dream of playing in the NFL so I have to give myself the best chance to do that. “
Gabriel, who succeeded Milton at Mililani and followed him to UCF, started there both years.
Milton finished eighth in 2017 by voting for the Heisman Trophy, which was won by Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma. Milton passed for 4,037 yards and 37 touchdowns to lead UCF to an undefeated season.
ESPN said Milton told teammates about his decision on Thursday.
“It’s very emotional, but it’s one of those things where Dillon and I are on our own paths,” Milton told ESPN. “He’s on his at UCF, and I just feel like mine is coming to an end, so I feel like the torch has passed. He will continue to do great things. It’s a tough decision, but it also makes the most sense. “
Milton added: ‘There are no bitter feelings towards UCF. I will always bleed black and gold. It’s the end of a chapter for me and my playing career here, and that’s probably the bittersweet part of it. We have been able to accomplish a lot in my time here, and it has only been a blessing. “