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Former UCF QB With Heupel Ties Joining Tennessee Staff

McKenzie Milton at UCF // Photo via UCF Athletics

Former UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton, who was the starting quarterback for the UCF Knights from 2016 through 2018, is joining Tennessee football’s staff as an offensive analyst, CBS Sports’ Tennessee announced on Thursday afternoon.

Milton’s last year as a starter with UCF came in Josh Heupel’s first year as head coach of the Knights.

“McKenzie represents everything that is great about college football,” Heupel said according to Tennessee’s press release. “His perseverance, determination and leadership are attributes that made him successful as a player and will no doubt translate to him being an outstanding future coach. He’s always been a student of the game and understands the why behind what we do. We are thrilled to welcome McKenzie, Jany (wife) and Madden (son) to Rocky Top.”

Milton added that he ‘couldn’t be more excited’ to come to Tennessee and reunite with Heupel.

“I couldn’t be more excited about starting my coaching career at Tennessee and reuniting with Coach Heupel,” Milton said. “I am grateful to Coach Heupel and Director of Athletics Danny White for giving me this opportunity. Their leadership makes a difference. I look forward to helping the program in any way I can.”

In addition to reuniting with Heupel, Milton also reunites with Athletic Director Danny White, who served as UCF’s AD throughout the entirety of Milton’s time as a Knight.

More From RTI: Former Tennessee Quarterback Announces Transfer Destination

Milton started for three years at UCF and was a star in his sophomore and junior seasons in 2017 and 2018. In his sophomore season under then head coach Scott Frost, Milton led the Knights to a perfect 12-0 regular season record and beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl to finish the year 13-0.

UCF was the only team in Division I to finish the season with an undefeated record, so former UCF and current Tennessee Athletic Director Danny White claimed a National Championship.

Milton was named offensive MVP for his Peach Bowl performance, completing 16 of 35 passes for 242 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. He broke single-season program records for passing yards (4,037), passing touchdowns (37), passing efficiency (179.29) and passing yards per attempt (10.2) during the 2017 season.

The Hawaii native followed up his record-setting season with another incredible year in 2018, his only year as a starter under Heupel. Milton finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting and led UCF to another undefeated regular season (11-0).

However, Milton’s 2018 season finished far worse than the year prior. In UCF’s rivalry game against South Florida on November 23, 2018, Milton’s college career took a devastating turn.

Milton suffered a knee injury that caused damage to the arteries and nerves in his right knee. After three successful surgeries, he was released from the hospital. However, further complications resulted in reconstructive knee surgery the following January.

More surgeries ensued all throughout 2019, and he wasn’t cleared until right before the start of the 2020 season. After running UCF’s scout team in 2020, Milton transferred to Florida State for the 2021 season. Despite playing in just six games and failing to tally over 800 yards on the year, the Mililani High School product had an unforgettable fourth-quarter performance in primetime.

Milton led Florida State to a 10-point fourth-quarter comeback to force overtime against Notre Dame. Despite the fact the Seminoles lost, Milton’s first return to action was sensational.

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