McKenzie Milton’s story captivated millions of football fans across the nation, especially in the Sunshine State.
The UCF quarterback, who nearly lost his leg after an injury suffered in Nov. 2018, returned to run the scout team in 2020 and to the field at Florida State in 2021. Milton now shares recognition as one of three winners of the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award. Milton also earned the ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award, given annually to the league’s ‘most courageous’ football player.
Milton, Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan and J.J. Weaver from Kentucky shared the honor from the Mayo Clinic. A $5,000 donation will be made to the general scholarship funds of all three schools.
A two-time Heisman Trophy candidate, Milton suffered artery and nerve damage to his leg, a dislocated knee and multiple torn ligaments and tendons. His right leg was nearly amputated after the helmet-to-knee hit caused a lack of blood flow to his leg. The goal for surgeons was just to give Milton a chance to one day walk without a limp or pain, but eight surgeries later he took to the field again at FSU.
Milton played in four games for the Seminoles in 2021, completing 58.3 percent of his passes with three touchdowns. He will also participate in the Hula Bowl in Orlando on Jan. 15.