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Quarterback McKenzie Milton announces retirement from football

A retirement well earned.

Florida State v Florida Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

A retirement well earned.

Former Florida State Seminoles and UCK Knights quarterback McKenzie Milton, who worked his way back from an injury so severe that it nearly cost him his leg, has announced that he’s officially stepping away from the game.

Milton started four games for FSU in 2021, appearing in six total while throwing for 775 yards and three touchdowns. While the stats never quite lined up with his Heisman-contending production pre-injury, the simple matter of returning to the field was a win in itself.

As for a potential new path, Milton has found a nice post-grad niche in the NIL market — after first venturing into advocacy when Florida’s bill allowing the deals nearly was killed, he’s become a major part of Dreamfield, which has also established itself with UCF athletes.

His full message:

There is no easy way to put or say this but my playing days of football have come to an end. With the culmination of the 2022 NFL draft it has become pretty evident that a path to the NFL is not realistic given the external variables. Having said that…

I want to thank all of you for the love and support over the years. A 5’11 160lbs skinny Haole boy from Mililani, Hawaii was able to live out his football dream all the way in Florida and I’ll be forever grateful for that. To all my boys you already know what it is

A lot of people will wonder what if he never got hurt what if this what if that? I asked myself those same questions for awhile too. It wasn’t until November 23 2021 (three year anniversary of my injury) where I saw my son for the first time on ultrasound and then understood why I went through what I went through. It took three years to put it all in perspective. I get goosebumps thinking about how divine it is that three years to the day I get hurt, is the same day I see my baby boy for the first time.

As much as I love playing QB and being in the locker room with the guys, I know there’s no greater opportunity/responsibility in this world than being a father. And let me make a call out to all the dads out there..step up and lead your families!! God bless you all and much love

And his Florida State bio:


Appeared in six games with four starts…was 81-of-139 passing for 775 yards and three touchdowns…Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year…ACC Piccolo Award…Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award Nominee…Seminole Scholar…made FSU debut in season opener vs. No. 9 Notre Dame, returning to action for first time in 1,017 days after injury on Nov. 23, 2018, forced him to miss 2019 and 2020 seasons…was 5-of-7 passing for 48 yards and gained six yards on three rush attempts…entered game in fourth quarter and led FSU to 10 straight points to force overtime…passed for season-high 248 yards and one touchdown on season-high 24 completions on 39 pass attempts in start vs. Louisville…15-yard completion in first quarter vs. Cardinals pushed him past 9,000 career passing yards…started vs. North Carolina State and was 22-of-44 passing for 233 yards and one touchdown while adding three yards rushing…was 18-of-31 passing for 133 yards and one touchdown while adding 16 yards on three rush attempts vs. Jacksonville State…started at Wake Forest and was 18-of-31 passing for 119 yards…also saw action in season finale at Florida and was 1-of-2 passing.


Graduate transfer from UCF…led Knights to 27-6 record as a starter, including undefeated 2017 season, and two American Athletic Conference championships…only two-time AAC Offensive Player of the Year…finished sixth in Heisman Trophy vote in 2018 and eighth in 2017…2018 finalist for Sullivan Award given to nation’s top amateur athlete…was 630-of-1,020 passing for 8,683 yards and 72 touchdowns with only 22 interceptions and added 1,078 yards and 20 touchdowns on 285 rushes for 9,761 yards of total offense…streak of 24 straight games with at least one passing touchdown ranks second in program history…total offense yards, completions, pass efficiency rating of 152.3, 13.8 average yards per completion and interception percentage of 2.2 ranked third in program history…ranked fourth in pass attempts, passing touchdowns and touchdown responsibility…had 12 300-yard passing games, third on UCF’s all-time list, and two 400-yard passing games, fourth in program history…broke UCF single-season records with 4,650 yards of total offense, 4,037 passing yards, 37 passing touchdowns, average of 10.2 yards per attempt and pass efficiency rating of 179.29 in 2017…also set new single-season program quarterback rushing mark with 613 yards and tied program records with seven 300-yard passing games and two 400-yard passing games in 2017…had back-to-back six-touchdown games in 2018, passing for three and rushing for three in win vs. FAU and passing for four with two rushing scores eight days later in win vs. Pitt…broke UCF freshman record with 194 completions in 2016…missed final two games of 2018 and all of 2019 and 2020 seasons due to injury…compiled 9,113 yards of total offense in 34 career games at Mililani, courtesy of 7,303 passing yards with 81 touchdowns and 1,810 rushing yards with 18 touchdowns…2014 Hawai’i Gatorade Player of the Year and USA Today Hawai’i Offensive Player of the Year…led Trojans to Division I state title with perfect record his junior season after taking team to state championship game as a sophomore.