McKenzie Milton was told that he probably wouldn’t ever play football again after suffering a devastating leg injury on Nov. 23, 2018. He suffered a knee dislocation that cut off blood flow in his leg. He nearly had to have the leg amputated, but quick work by UCF’s doctors and Milton’s surgical team saved the limb.
And Milton managed to salvage his college career as well.
Milton returned to the field for the first time more than 1,000 days after his injury Sunday night. He took the field in the second half of Florida State’s 41-38 overtime loss to No. 9 Notre Dame to complete a comeback three years in the making.
“God is real. Nobody’s ever come back from an injury like this,” Milton told reporters afterward, per The Athletic (subscription required).
Milton came on in the fourth quarter after starting quarterback Jordan Travis’ helmet came off. He threw a pass on his first play and he completed it for a 22-yard gain.
Milton stayed in the game after that play and led two scoring drives at the end of regulation to complete an 18-point fourth-quarter comeback by the Seminoles. It wasn’t enough to earn the win, but it was certainly enough to earn Milton plenty of praise on Twitter.
Former and current athletes including Robert Griffin III and Calais Campbell weighed in on Milton’s remarkable comeback, along with many media personalities. Milton’s return to the field drew comparisons Alex Smith’s comeback, and it even had some former Florida Gators receivers rooting for their in-state rival.
Awesome to see McKenzie Milton back out on the field leading the Seminoles back into this game and forcing overtime
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) September 6, 2021
McKenzie Milton completely blew out his knee November 23rd, 2018.
He was never supposed to play again, but today, 1,017 days later he enters the game as the Florida State QB & immediately leads his team to a touchdown.
Milton, regardless of what else you do. You’ve done enough pic.twitter.com/N3vz56GIfw
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) September 6, 2021
I don’t know McKenzie Milton but I’m rooting for him like I know him!! God is so Good!! Keep going bro!
— Van Jefferson (@VanJefferson12) September 6, 2021
Rarely do I ever cheer for FSU but I certainly am now after watching what McKenzie Milton just did.
— Chris Doering (@ChrisDoering) September 6, 2021
This McKenzie Milton performance is just crazy amazing on an Alex Smith level.
— Doug Farrar ✍ (@NFL_DougFarrar) September 6, 2021
Being a Miami grad, it’s fair to say I’ve never rooted for Florida State.
Watching FSU QB McKenzie Milton take the field and lead his team on a touchdown drive – almost three years after nearly losing his leg – I was all team McKenzie.
— Stephania Bell (@Stephania_ESPN) September 6, 2021
Milton completed 5 of 7 passes for 48 yards and ran for 6 yards on three carries against Notre Dame. He catalyzed the Florida State team and fan base, and he certainly gave coach Mike Norvell something to think about heading into the team’s Week 2 game against Jacksonville State.
Either way, Milton’s first action with Florida State was impressive, whether it leads to a starting job or not.
“I just felt like it was three years ago and I was just playing ball. Definitely grateful to be out there with the guys,” he said, per The Athletic.