Redshirt senior quarterback McKenzie Milton has been named one of three winners of the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award, presented by CoSIDA. Milton was previously named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Brian Piccolo Award winner, 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 all three winners’ school’s general scholarship fund.
Milton, from Kapolei, Hawai’i, transferred to Florida State after a five-year career at UCF. After leading the Knights to 23 consecutive wins, including the 2017 Peach Bowl, Milton suffered a catastrophic knee injury in the 2018 regular-season finale. 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.
Doctors removed a vein from his left leg to help create a new artery for his right leg to restore blood flow and successfully save his leg. The main goal from the surgeons who operated on him was for him to hopefully one day walk without a limp and without pain. After eight surgical procedures, he persevered through more than 1,000 days of rehabilitation, and in December 2020, transferred to Florida State.
Milton started four games for the Seminoles in 2021, completing 58.3 percent of his passes with three touchdowns. His relief appearance on opening weekend against No. 9 Notre Dame helped complete an 18-point fourth-quarter comeback to force overtime.