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UCF Football’s most recent billboard near the Florida State campus seems like a reminder to former UCF quarterback Mckenzie Milton that even though he may take snaps in Tallahassee, he’s 273 miles away from his former home at UCF.
It is a reminder to recruits that, while the Seminoles may have struggled in the last three seasons, there is winning program just 273 miles down the road — and that may be exactly what new head coach Gus Malzahn intended.
The billboard, one of 31 in total, is all part of a marketing campaign rolled out during the Malzahn-era of UCF Football.
The new UCF head coach heavily emphasized recruiting during his introductory press conference on Feb. 16, and the billboards not only help bring fans together — locally and through social media — but they also catch the eye of recruits in strategic places.
“We’re going to recruit Florida like nobody else,” Malzahn said. “We’re going to recruit like our hair is on fire.”
“I truly believe this is a program of the future in college football,” Malzahn said during his introduction in February. “The reason I believe that is the foundation has been built with the players before and with the coaches who have been there before, and I think it’s in great shape.”
The Orlando Sentinel reported the following list of billboard locations at the beginning of the month:
- South Florida, I-95, Pompano Beach
- South Florida, Palmetto Expressway, Hialeah
- South Florida, Florida Turnpike, Dade into Broward County
- Tampa, I-275 W, into downtown
- Tampa, 1-275 E, into downtown
- Jacksonville, I-95 S
- Gainesville, I-75 S (Live on March 15)
- Tallahassee, I-10 E (Live on March 15)
- Orlando (12 locations)
- Atlanta (10 locations)
New defensive coordinator Travis Williams says UCF isn’t hard to sell.
“We have a lot to sell here,” he said. “The great weather, the great people and being able to play great football and be able to win championships and get a great education. We’re in Orlando, people come here for vacation. We actually stay here.”