McKenzie Milton is officially QB1 for Florida State, as he alone is listed as the starter on the depth chart for this Saturday against Wake Forest.
It’s the culmination of a comeback for the UCF graduate transfer who returned this season after a career-threatening leg injury in 2018. Milton’s first test as official starter will be on the road against Wake Forest (2-0) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Milton originally sat behind redshirt sophomore Jordan Travis in FSU’s opener against Notre Dame, but saw the field in the fourth quarter and overtime. Milton played a majority of the game on Saturday against Jacksonville State, going 18-of-31 for 133 yards and a touchdown.
Of course, the game didn’t go as planned. The Seminoles lost to the Gamecocks 20-17 on the last play of the game. According to Warchant.com, Redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Dontae Lucas, a stalwart on the line, entered the transfer portal early on Monday.
This will leave freshman Zane Herring as the man to replace Lucas, a daunting task. One has to wonder how Milton’s leg will hold up the rest of the season if he’s getting bull-rushed by opposing defenders game after game. The schedule surely does not bode well for FSU, who still have No. 6 Clemson, No. 11 Florida and No. 24 Miami left on the schedule.
FSU clearly has lots of work to do to give Milton the best chance to succeed, something that head coach Mike Norvell did not do against Jacksonville State.
However, Milton’s ability to stand in the pocket to make plays and his experience give him a huge advantage over Travis. Travis’ game consists of much more scrambling outside the pocket, which hasn’t resulted in much success for the FSU offense. A good reminder of Milton’s ability was his first throw in the Notre Dame game, where he executed a three-step drop and rifled one downfield to his receiver for a 22-yard gain.
But the story of Milton grows regardless and serves as a lesson to never give up, even when the chances are slim. That’s the reality Milton faced coming back, which he talked about in an ESPN special on College Gameday on Saturday.