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Home / Sports / Why UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton tries to play college football after his terrible leg injury

Why UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton tries to play college football after his terrible leg injury

ORLANDO, Fla. – Football has to be quite a drug. McKenzie Milton immediately admits that after a gruesome leg injury he decided to play football again.

Milton's decision surprised many, but nobody counts him out.

  • "I was shocked when I heard." said the mother of the UCF quarterback.
  • "I could not even put that story into words," said Mazzi Wilkins, defensive defender of the USF, who shredded Milton's knee in the 2018 regular season finale for both teams.
  • "If anyone can come back, he can," said Scott Frost, the UCF coach (now in Nebraska), who unlocked Milton's quarterback talents.
  • "It would be one of the biggest ̵
    1; if not the biggest – stories in college football," said current Knights coach Josh Heupel.

It is obvious that while Milton's body heals, the discussion has been developing in Tampa since the terrible day eight months ago when Wilkins Milton beat the Knights at the end of a run in the first half of the Knights' 38:10 victory Bulls hit.

It was not until Milton turned around and his lower leg seemed to hang on his knee like a damp rag that the extent of the injury became apparent. Milton's knee was so mutilated that it turned the stomach of anyone who saw it.

Anyone who saw it up close in the field knelt down and prayed or turned away.

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<p></span><figcaption class= UCF trainer Josh Heupel revisits Knight's quarterback McKenzie Milton his injury.

When the same injury happens on the battlefield and there is no hospital, the soldiers die, as Army Superintendent Robert Caslen said.

After Milton was taken to the Tampa General Hospital, doctors had to remove an artery from his left leg and sew it into his right leg. The nerves were hurt. Milton could not feel his right leg.

amputation? Suddenly that was in the game.

"When they came to the emergency room and said," Well, we saved the leg, "I was surprised," Teresa Milton recalled. "I said to everyone:" Did anyone know that he could lose his leg? "

" Our orthopedist from the team looked at me like: "They all knew it. "Http://www.cbssports.com/" [19659002] This discussion has now developed into the possibility – at least in Milton's view – that one of the most exciting players of the second half of the decade can return to the football field.

It is about the continuation of a lifelong dream. It would also be another indicator of football's dependency. It is remembered on this 150th anniversary of the game that those who play it and those who see it can not get enough.

Over 13,000 FBS-level players play the game because they can. many also play because they have to. They want the memories, the brotherhood. Yes, they also like to deliver the brutal hits and survive.

They understand the risk of head trauma, articular tears, bone fractures and, for Milton, even the function of a leg.

"I now realize that football players are playing football until they can not," Teresa Milton said. "That's her passion."

"Mama T" became de facto the spokeswoman of her son during the ordeal. This has unmasked her as a Mama Bear, to protect Milton's best interest.

She was worried that the elevator in her apartment on the third floor would go off during recovery, because how could McKenzie make it down the stairs? They had food delivered instead of getting on their way. At some point Mama T realized that both had become "really white" because they had not been outside for weeks.

"I do not know what made me tell you that," Teresa Milton said.

Even a comeback can not quite understand. It would be wonderful, but also dangerous. Mama T has compared her son's desire to return to surfers in their native Hawaii, who ride to the last wave.

"I know God allowed it," Teresa Milton said of her son's injury. "I do not know why."

The next chapter is already in preparation. All Milton does is get back to the field. This includes receiving the love and advice of his friends and family.

Why are you telling the national media that you are coming back, asked his mother?

His response was, "If I do not believe it, no one will do it," said Teresa Milton.

"All right," she told herself.

"That was a stomach and screamed my eyes out because I was never in that condition.

The Miltons know football and they know Hawaii and have been running the Waipio Panthers Football League at home in Oahu for 17 years Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's face lit up as he remembered the days he was Milton's quarterback was Three years ago, the family moved from Hawaii to Orlando when Milton selected UCF over Oregon, Navy, and others.

"He was not very tall, but he was a baller," Frost recalled. When we came to UCF, he was one of us first calls. I had high hopes for him. He has exceeded these values.

Eight months after the injury removed Milton goes with braces. Running is in his future. If you discount the prognosis, he might return in October 2020.

Back to what a On November 23, Milton tore the lateral collateral ligament and posterior cruciate ligament and dislocated his knee, with no immediate pain or feelings because of the nerve damage It's amazing how Milton remembered the smallest detail of the day,

"I think I'd like to remember that," Milton said in my lifetime, "I think I'll be a better person for it."

Brad Johnson, a vascular surgeon at Tampa General Hospital and his team saved the leg. Subsequently, the patient was given the best possible result for the treatment Milton, to be able to walk again without pain.

Then it got complicated: Milton announced that he wanted to come back.

"The doctor first said:" Why do you want to play again? "Teresa Milton recalled. "I remember him [pulling] when he took off his glasses and said:" This is to fix your leg for a normal life and be painless. That's the goal. "

"They had a very intimate conversation. He said to McKenzie, "I support you." I had hoped he would discourage him. That means you know you are a mother.

"I said," So if he's hurt his knee again, will you fix it again? He says: "Of course I would." "Http://www.cbssports.com/"

"I think I'd like to remember that, it's the biggest thing in my life so far, I think 'I'll be a better person for that.' UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton injured leg

American football addiction also has a dark side. Wilkins got death threats. Some misguided trolls thought his device was meant to hurt.

"When you watch the tape, I put my hands around my head [in shock]," Wilkins said. "I circled back around him and took a knee, I stood very close to him and started praying for him."

The two became friends when they both appeared at a Better Man event in April at UCF.

"It was as if the event was based on forgiveness," Wilkins said, "We agreed that things happen in football, we got along and became really good friends."

Wilkins understands why Milton wants to play again.

"Nobody really knows what happens on the field when you're not on the field," he said. It's like a fraternity thing. No matter how much crap, no matter how much media stories about teams want to chase up, at the end of the day we will all respect each other.

Respect is one thing Common sense is another player In every way, Milton has never been better informed about the risks of football.

Milton came close to three people whose situation was to put him off forever – High schooler Alex Ruiz, NFL player Zach Miller and Michigan player Grant Newsome.

19659002] They all had the same injury: Ruiz was amputated in the lower half of a leg, Miller retired after nine years in the NFL was injured in a game against Wisconsin in October 2016.

Newsome finally made it back Last August, he retired from the game and became a graduate assistant.

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<p></span><figcaption class= UCF quarterback McKenzie the country's most electrifying player before his injury. USATSI

"I think it can happen when you put on your helmet," Milton said. "Just like boxing, MMA fighting or NASCAR driving, these are all dangerous sports, so I think that's why people love it, the amusement, the ecstasy of it."

There it is again, the drug of football.

Milton believes it can be done in a spiritual way. In the week before a state championship game Milton had sprained a hand. He could not grab the ball. He certainly could not throw.

During the service at Hope Chapel Nanakuli, both Milton and his mother reported how a pastor was lying on the quarterback while the church prayed for him.

"I went to his church and said," Does anyone have the gift to heal? "Teresa Milton said." That guy says, "Yes, I do." "Http://www.cbssports.com/"

Within 48 hours of this church visit, Milton threw rockets. Later that week, he threw seven touchdowns in the state championship game

"That was definitely the work of God," Milton said.

"My son has experienced a miracle," said his mother.

Why can not it happen again?

"I think it is very likely," Heupel said about Milton's return, "we will launch it."

Milton is as well integrated into the UCF football program as possible. He works together with his teammates. (No leg exercises.) (Obviously.) He's becoming a member of the Knights' travel squad this season.

In this sense, Milton was referred to as the cheapest quarterback coach in the country.

"I love this kid for a lot of different reasons," UCF Sports Director Danny White said, "I train a lot most days, and just last week I sat in the Nutrition Center to have lunch I'm there for 10 minutes. Greetings to all children.

"For the first time in a year someone comes and sits down beside me, it's McKenzie. He is no longer on crutches. It's such a mature thing. Who wants to settle with the AD? "

Milton underwent a protracted after-care operation at the Mayo Clinic in January, and will be back in Minneapolis at the end of the month for the final exam, during Milton's long journey back to the football field

Whether or not the comeback miracle has arrived, one truth remains – football in America is still quite a drug.

"It is," Milton said. "It's amazing."

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