Florida State Seminoles

War Chief

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Most Florida State fans and media expected to see improvement from the FSU football team in 2022; few could have honestly predicted that the Seminoles would go 10-3 with wins over the likes of Florida, Miami, LSU and Oklahoma after their lackluster 2021.

Coming into the 2022 season, it would be Jordan Travis’ first year as a full-time starter but his third year in the system. On top of that, it would be Travis’ first opportunity to be the unquestioned leader of the Seminoles’ offense, which comes with large potential upside.

Travis not only emerged as Florida State’s best starting quarterback since Jameis Winston, but one of the very best in the country.

In leading the Seminoles to a 10-3 record, Travis completed 226 of 353 passes (64.0 percent) for 3,214 yards and 24 touchdowns with five interceptions. He also rushed for 417 yards and five touchdowns and even hauled in a touchdown catch.

Travis was named second-team All-ACC. He showed great improvement as a passer and appeared completely confident in his third season in Norvell’s offense.

Since the Seminoles didn’t have a proven backup, some worried that the season could be derailed at any moment.

Fortunately for FSU, backup QB Tate Rodemaker showed great composure and led the Seminoles to a 35-31 win over Louisville.

Rodemaker’s stellar performance in a hostile environment, along with Travis’ ability to rebound quickly from injury is what alleviated most of those concerns.

After Travis’s start against Boston College, it turned out he would remain healthy for the rest of the year, and play in all 13 games.

Based on Travis’ performance and Rodemaker’s improvement as a redshirt sophomore, the Seminoles discovered one of the best quarterback situations in college football by the end of the season.

Travis didn’t waste much time in announcing that he would return and he already is appearing on some early Heisman predictions. Rodemaker and AJ Duffy are also expected to be back, and the Seminoles also will bring in freshman Brock Glenn, a four-star prospect from Memphis.

Travis not only led Florida State to its first 10-win season since 2016, but according to Pro Football Focus, he was the best Power 5 quarterback in the nation.

The way Jordan Travis played in the second half of this season, and with the moves the Seminoles are making in player retention and in the transfer takes, I think Florida State is poised to take another big step next season.

Return Of The Seminoles

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

It started with a block in New Orleans and ended with a sack in Orlando. Those two moments felt like bookends to a resurged Florida State football program.

I don’t know if Florida State football is “back.” A Cheez-It Bowl victory is a step in the right direction.

But man, how sweet it must feel, a team that went from five wins a season ago to a 10-wins today.

It’s not easy to double your victory total in a year, but that’s exactly what the Florida State football team did this season. So, what outlook does that give the Seminoles in the 2023 season?

Florida State has already received a slew of good news about next season, with stars and starters like Jordan Travis, Trey Benson, Mycah Pittman, Robert Scott, Kalen Deloach, Tatum Bethune, Jarrian Jones, Renardo Green and others announcing they are coming back for the 2023 season.

“The Big Three” we still don’t know about are defensive end Jared Verse, defensive tackle Fabien Lovett and defensive back Jammie Robinson.

Verse and Robinson have said they will make their decisions in the coming days. Lovett hasn’t spoken publicly in weeks.

Norvell and his staff have done yeoman work in the portal this cycle. They’ve brought in one of the top offensive tackles Jeremiah Byers from UTEP), a potential starting guard (Casey Roddick from Colorado), two of the top tight ends (Jaheim Bell from South Carolina and Kyle Morlock from Shorter), maybe the best defensive tackle (Braden Fisk from Western Michigan), a rising-star defensive tackle (Darrell Jackson from Miami) and arguably the top cornerback ( Fentrell Cypress from Virginia).

That’s six potential starters; seven important rotation guys acquired in about three weeks.

To speak frankly, Norvell needed to hit the portal to supplement FSU’s lackluster high school recruiting. The Seminoles’ 2023 signing class ranked 19th; the 2022 class ranked 24th.

Sustainability when building by the transfer portal is a legit question. FSU, LSU and USC, among others, brought in big transfer groups in the offseason, and all had successful seasons. Does this foreshadow what the future of college football will look like?

I think most would agree that Florida State was the best team in the ACC during the second half of the season, and I think the Seminoles are going to be better in 2023.

I can’t say the same for the Clemson Tigers, the team that had a stranglehold on the ACC for the past decade.

With the way Jordan Travis played in the second half of this season, and with the moves the Seminoles’ staff is making in both player retention and in the transfer portal; Florida State is poised for another growth spurt next season.

And unless something changes at Clemson, (with declining talent in both players and coaches), there’s a very good chance they will continue to fall.

I won’t be the only person who writes this during this coming offseason, but I will definitely be among the first: For the first time since 2014, Florida State will be favored to win the ACC next season.

 

Return To Chief-Hood?

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

What a difference a year makes, FSU football statistically has made huge changes.

The Seminoles are trending on both sides of the ball in elite company.

First, the ‘Noles average nearly 100 more total yards per game than last year, jumping up from 379 to 477 yards per game due to a deeper set of skill players, a better offensive line, and stronger quarterback play.

Let’s start with QBs, redshirt junior quarterback Jordan Travis and his co-starter McKenzie Milton have already eclipsed the production in 2021 with 2,300 yards and 18 passing touchdowns. FSU’s passing offense, while effective at times later in the season, ranked in the bottom half of the ACC last season.

This year, on the other hand- Travis is ranked third in the ACC in passing yards (2,414) and touchdowns (24). A noteworthy turnaround for a team pointed downhill for almost 5 years.

FSU scores about seven more points per game than last season, jumping from 27.6 to 34 in 2022, aided by 41-point, 45-point, and 38-point outbursts in the current three-game win streak.

It’s also worth noting the FSU offense took its foot off the gas while comfortably ahead during stretches of the third and fourth quarters in four ACC games this season — those three wins and against Boston College.

The Seminoles’ rushing offense lost 2021 starter Jashaun Corbin, and has gone stretches without this year’s starter Treshaun Ward. Yet, FSU only continues to skyrocket the stat book on the ground.

FSU improved from 177 rushing yards per game (No. 6 ACC) and 4.8 yards per carry last season, up to 5.5 per attempt and a dominant 213 yards per game. Aided by backs Trey Benson, Lawrance Toafilli, and along with Ward, those totals rank No. 1 in the ACC and No. 16 in the nation.

Of course, all those yards and offensive production wouldn’t be possible without a much-improved offensive line, even if the personnel stays the same.

Offensive fronts may not always have stats to back up their performance, but pass-protection wise, the returns are crystal clear: FSU gave up 36 sacks last year (2 per game) and only 16 this year (second-best in ACC).

Defensively, Florida State is in position of shaving off 8.4 points per game from its season average.

Last year, defensive coordinator Adam Fuller’s bunch gave up a respectable 26.5 points per outing, but this year they’re knocking that number down to 18.1 (tied for best in ACC).

The Seminoles also rose to best in the ACC in total defense (293 yards allowed), which is over an 80-yard improvement from last season’s 377.8 mark (No. 6 in ACC).

In many of these areas, FSU rose from the middle of the pack.

Special teams return yardage, the ‘Noles emerged from the doldrums of the conference.

Instead of ranking No. 12 in yards per kick return and No. 13 in yards per punt return, FSU now ranks third in the ACC in both categories.

Florida State is currently ranked No. 11 in the country in total defense and No. 16 in the country in total offense.

The only other teams to be in the Top 20 in both categories? Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State.

I don’t know if Norvell will ever get this program back to an elite level, but man, after these last three weeks, and considering how far they’ve come in the last three years, it’s not exactly far-fetched, is it?

Back To Earth

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

I’ve gone on record multiple times saying Norvell is a not very good coach.

He is a poor evaluator of talent with an average offensive mind. I think his energy and intensity are admirable and contagious, however he appears to be a poor recruiter when compared to his successful predecessors.

Having said all that, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say these next six games will determine Norvell’s future at FSU.

After losing two games in a row, the Seminoles are 4-2 and can still finish with a much-improved season. Saying that, there’s very little margin for error moving forward.

If the Seminoles fall to No. 4 Clemson this Saturday (they’re only a 4 to 4.5-point underdog), they must win at least three of those five for this season for their season to feel like a step in the right direction for the program.

Anything better than 3 wins will promote eight or more wins for the season, and that would give them a ton of momentum heading into recruiting season.

Anything worse will feel like treading water at best, and that’s not a good place to be for 3 years.

To finish strong, FSU must get back to playing the way they did in weeks one through four. Other than Louisiana, sure fire wins are looking slim on the schedule.

Florida and Miami are arch rivals with plenty of talent, so you know those will be hard-fought games.

Looking closely in the ACC, Syracuse is one of 2022’s biggest surprises with a 5-0 record.

We will learn plenty about the Orange in the next two weeks, as they face N.C. State and Clemson back-to-back.

Georgia Tech is now showing major improvement since firing head coach Geoff Collins; the Jackets have won their last two games to improve to 3-3 and 2-1 in the ACC. With this in mind, will FSU take the backseat in CFB and become a basketball school once and for all?

Getting back on track, after blowing a 14-point lead in the second half at N.C. State, the Seminoles return home for No. 4 Clemson this Saturday.

Can the Seminoles turn things around after back-to-back losses? Can Travis and the offense get back on track and get moving? Last week, Norvell again took full responsibility for the loss by the way.

Football coaches who accept full responsibility for losses are usually stand-up guys. Coaches who accept full responsibility for losses again and again and again are known as former coaches.

The 4-0 start was great. Realistically, it won’t be remembered if their performance this second half of this season looks like these last two weeks. They’ll be remembered as a dumpster fire.

Clemson and FSU had one of the top rivalries in the ACC for years, but it seems one-sided recently.

The Clemson Tigers have won six in a row between the two programs, including a 30-20 home win last season.

Clemson is trending up, showing improvement each week. FSU is trending… in the opposite direction.

Clemson 34   FSU 23

New Chiefs

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Here are my latest observations about the Seminoles after their 3-0 start this season.

1 — This team’s toughness is legit. Every time things begin to look bleak; these guys find a way to fight back. Whether it’s the defense making a stop or creating a turnover or the offense stepping up to make a play.

Remembering Norvell’s Memphis teams, when we learned that FSU was targeting him for their vacant head coaching job in late 2019, what stood out most was how hard Memphis competed snap by snap.

They were physical on both sides of the ball, and seemed unfazed by the score or situation. Whether ahead or behind, Memphis seemed to play with the same high level of energy and intensity.

It’s such a positive thing to see a strong program battle back after challenging years. FSU fans should be falling in love with this team.

They know there will be times this season when the offense sputters or the defense has major lapses — heck, that’s already happened in the last two games (double heck, this ain’t even pro football! Kids mess up all the time). However, toughness is something that shouldn’t come or go. You have it or you don’t. Grit is absolute.

2 —Trey Benson’s break out. Even though he had 100-plus yards in the season opener against Duquesne, I didn’t think we saw the real Trey Benson in either of Florida State’s first two games.

I don’t know if maybe it was taking a little time to get acclimated to the speed of the game against teams like LSU and Louisville. If that was the case, it would be understandable. Remember, he missed nearly all of last season due to a catastrophic knee injury when he was at Oregon.

Maybe he’s just still getting comfortable with Norvell’s offense. Whatever the case, the guy is 6-foot-1, 215 pounds and built differently than everybody else FSU has in the backfield.

FSU got game(plans). As much credit as Florida State’s players deserve, the coaching staff prepare excellent strategies.

Despite the fact that QB Tate Rodemaker struggled several times in critical situations, Norvell was convinced that he would eventually turn the corner. Rodemaker may have actually done just that.

Injuries + Recruiting. Florida State has been dealing with several injury concerns. Then the list got much longer during the trip to Louisville, with QB Jordan Travis, DE Jared Verse, DL Malcolm Ray, OT Robert Scott, LB Tatum Bethune and others either leaving the game completely or missing time.

I also see the drop off in recruiting the past three years costing the Seminoles for the remainder of this season. With injuries mounting, the lack of depth will hurt the Seminoles as they navigate the remainder of their schedule.

FSU is off to a great start. The was the last time FSU had a 10-win season was 2015.

Will Norvell lead the Seminoles back to glory or will their lack of depth have them come up short?

War Path

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The Florida State football program has suffered a severe fall from grace over the past few seasons. With that newfound mediocrity, comes an automatic lack of promise entering this season.

Can the Florida State Seminoles take advantage of a manageable schedule and return to some relevance as a result? Or, will they once again fall victim to bigger fish in the Atlantic Coast Conference? Let’s find out.

Vs. Duquesne (W)

Sure, the Florida State Seminoles have seen better days than the ones currently surrounding them, but they haven’t fallen so far that this matchup is a toss-up. Anything less than a 40-point win here would be a darn shame, even for a season opener.

Vs. LSU (L)

The LSU Tigers may have seen a downgrade in 2021, but they will be led into New Orleans by new head coach Brian Kelly. With that said, there is a very small chance that the Noles come out of this one with a win. Kelly should take this one by two or three scores, making an early impact in his still-young tenure at LSU.

@ Louisville (L)

Following a dog fight in New Orleans with LSU fails to make things any easier. The bye week placed between the games will help, but not really. The Noles will lose a close one here.

Vs. Boston College (W)

BC will be heading to Tallahassee while Florida State is desperate to make an impression. Expect a convincing Noles win from this one.

Vs. Wake Forest (L)

To put things delicately, the Demon Deacons were not nice to FSU last season. In a 35-14 loss that included a plethora of turnovers, the Seminoles were dealt what ended up being their worst loss of 2021. The Noles may not lose by 21 again, but a disheartening defeat is almost a guarantee, nonetheless.

@ North Carolina State (L)

Now FSU will travel to Raleigh, where they have not prevailed since 2016. If Wake Forest is going to down the Noles on the road, what NC State has in store for them at home the very next week feels almost unimaginable.

Vs. Clemson (L)

Boy, the punches just keep on coming. The Tigers are still expected to be a top-tier contender in the ACC for 2022. And especially with who all they will face leading up to this game, the Seminoles will fail to stay at Clemson’s level .

Vs. Georgia Tech (W)

Finally, we can see a rainbow through the storm. Most GT fans will probably end up praying for this one to end as soon as possible.

@ Miami (L)

Nothing about this matchup leaves the Seminoles with a positive outlook when entering it. Yes, they won the 2021 battle, but the Hurricanes have new head coach Mario Cristobal and they also look like the better team.

Due to the stigma of any big rivalry, the game will probably be closer than it should be. However, Miami should still be the victor by the time the game clock hits zero.

@ Syracuse (W)

This won’t be a blowout, but the Noles are a better team.

Vs. Louisiana (W)

The game should start out good, but FSU will most likely pull away in the second half.

Vs. Florida (L)

The Gators have also won the last three meetings with the Seminoles. The Gators will keep Florida State out of the bowl season again. The Gators are more talented and better coached. This game will not be close.

Conclusion:

The Florida State Seminoles will finish their 2022 regular season slate with a final record of 5-7. It will be their 3rd-straight season without a bowl appearance, and their 5th-straight season with a losing record.

The Real Question:

Will Mike Norvell keep his job if my predictions come true?

Buyer’s Remorse?

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Through two seasons (one impacted by the pandemic) things have been disappointing for Mike Norvell at Florida State University.

In his third season as the head man in Tallahassee, Norvell is already setting high expectations. “We have great expectations,” said Mike Norvell. “The daily expectation with the season expectation is for us to go out there and do our best to improve daily, to go out there and not only be competitive, but to push to new limits of where we are and also where we’re going.”

“To see this team come together and to play as one. Those are the things that we’ve seen in laying that foundation this last year and to be able to see the growth, to see the confidence that our players have. I’m going to put no limits to what these guys can accomplish.”

To fix issues on the roster, Mike Norvell has leaned heavily on the transfer portal. He’s hoping that those players will be able to fill gaps.

The rest of the team is filled out by players Norvell recruited and developed. It’s a group that Norvell has a lot of confidence in.

“I’ve got an unbelievable amount of confidence in them,” Mike Norvell continued. “But ultimately, for us, it’s about us showing up every single day and going to perform and to execute at that level with an incredible level of consistency throughout that process. We have great expectations as a program.”

Through his first two seasons, Mike Norvell is 8-13. Florida State fired his predecessor, Willie Taggart part-way through his second season for going 9-12. The pressure is on Norvell and his players to win at Florida State, and win now.

“When you are at Florida State, that’s part of it. You don’t choose to come play at Florida State, you don’t choose to coach at Florida State unless you embrace that opportunity and embrace those expectations to go out there and play at an extremely high level on a day-in and day-out basis.”

Last year, Florida State played Miami and Florida as they were going through internal turmoil. They managed to beat the Hurricanes at home while losing to the Gators on the road.

Based on these spreads, Las Vegas clearly expects Miami to be the toughest challenge for FSU in 2022.

LSU, despite the game being played in New Orleans, has tons of question marks to answer. FSU has not played the Tigers since 1991.

At Florida, new head coach Billy Napier has tried to lower expectations in year one, pointing out challenges in rebuilding.

Whether or not FSU can win these key games will determine if their season is successful and disappointing.

New Path

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

McKenzie Milton has decided to officially hang up the cleats, announcing his retirement from football on Thursday.

The former UCF star returned from a catastrophic leg injury to play for Florida State in 2021, providing one great story last season.

But now that the 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone, Milton explained on Instagram that “my days of playing football have come to an end.”

Milton had a 27-6 record as a starter for UCF, after starting 4-6 his freshman season, he led the Knights to 23 consecutive wins. He contributed to two American Athletic Conference Championship teams, but that fateful injury in the regular season finale back in 2018 cost him the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Milton graduated from UCF and transferred to Florida State, where he was able to get on the field for six games with four starts during the 2021 season.

After participating in a pro day at Florida State and UCF this spring and not getting drafted, Milton can celebrate his recovery and still know he gave the NFL his best run.

In his announcement on social media, Milton made reference to the “what if” questions that might include whether his NFL Draft outcome might have been different without the injury. But he says his outlook is focused on his growing family, as he and his wife are expecting a boy this summer.

“A lot of people will wonder what if he never got hurt, what if this what if that? I asked myself those same questions for a while too,” Milton wrote in his announcement on social media. “It wasn’t until November 23, 2021 (three year anniversary of my injury) where I saw my son for the first time on ultrasound and then understood why I went through what I went through. It took three years to put it all in perspective. I get goosebumps thinking about how divine it is that three years to the day I get hurt, is the same day I see my baby boy for the first time.”

While Milton was working out with NFL aspirations, he simultaneously got active in the name, image and likeness business.

Dreamfield was founded in the summer of 2021 by two then-active college quarterbacks, McKenzie Milton and D’Eriq King. At the time, both had transferred to Florida schools after great AAC careers. Both said they wanted to take advantage of the new opportunity that was NIL.

Through their Dreamfield platform, they did things like releasing NFTs or non-fungible tokens, which are blockchain-based assets that allow college athletes to easily monetize their NIL, build their brand, and authentically connect with their fans in new and unique ways.

They also brought in other student-athletes, who wanted to use the platform to help find NIL deals.

Today, they offer numerous resources for the athletes who they’ve partnered with, including help with taxes, compliance, and brand building. Meanwhile, they help brands identify the right athletes for them and track the success of their campaigns.

They also exist to help boosters in the NIL era, as they try to begin crowdfunding and things of that nature.

Dreamfield works to bring student-athletes and brands together for the purposes of NIL. They do so without pairing up directly. Instead, they team up with the athletes themselves.

Among those athletes who they have teamed up with are Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham and Washington quarterback Michael Penix.

Now, with these new brands, they will be able to help those brands partner with more student-athletes in deals moving forward.

We may have seen the last of Milton on the gridiron, but he made his impact in college athletics.

Rising Spear

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Florida State NIL collectives Rising Spear and Warpath 850 announced Thursday they were consolidating. The move is believed to be the first “collective” merger in the Name, Image and Likeness era.

Collectives, which are independent from a university, pool funds from boosters and businesses, to help facilitate NIL deals for athletes.

They also create their own ways for athletes to monetize their brands. Every Power 5 school is expected to be affiliated with at least one collective by the end of the year.

As part of the merger, Kristi Dosh (Business of College Sports) reported athletes already working with Rising Spear will have access to the Dreamfield NIL platform. Dreamfield formed Warpath 850 in March, while Rising Spear launched last December.

Additionally, several NIL observers believe more collective mergers in the future. The experts say consolidation makes sense and helps the collectives build a larger presence for recruiting and retention efforts.

Collectives and the NIL have become a lightning rod in college athletics over the past few weeks. Coaches say NIL disguises “pay-for-play” deals choreographed by collectives. Coaches say the groups are using money to persuade recruits and target players on other college teams.

A recent poll of around 80 athletic directors in the Football Bowl Subdivision revealed an overwhelming majority are concerned collectives are using NIL payments as improper recruiting enticements, both for high school prospects and players in the transfer portal.

Bob Davis and Alan Flaumenhaft, former members of the executive board of directors of Seminole Boosters, founded Rising Spear.

There are two NIL options as part of Rising Spear.  Rising Spear finds a booster-owned company and enlists an athlete as a sponsor. For Garnet Spirit, boosters donate to a charity and get a tax write-off. Athletes make charitable appearances to earn compensation.

“This exciting merger between Rising Spear and Warpath 850,”  reports Matthew Quigley, CEO of Rising Spear, “It will create a strong, unified membership platform to benefit Seminole student-athletes. To our knowledge, this groundbreaking merger is the first consolidation between NIL collectives representing student-athletes from the same institution. We look forward to welcoming all Warpath 850 subscribers with a reminder that the student-athletes receive 100% of all donations collected by Rising Spear.”

Additionally, Corey Staniscia, Dreamfield’s Director of External Relations, said “It is the first time the industry is seeing two groups that were on parallel tracks in the same town now team up in a peaceful way to further benefit the athletes at the institution,”

Furthermore, Rising Spear recently partnered with MarketPryce. Who aims to create a larger number of NIL deals for FSU athletes.

Rising Spear is a third-party entity not affiliated with Florida State University. The organization provides a platform to create and develop NIL opportunities for FSU student-athletes in cooperation with businesses and sponsors.

Under current state law, Florida universities can educate athletes on NIL opportunities. But they cannot help facilitate or promote NIL deals. It follows NIL guidelines, and it is totally compliant.

Beating The Odds

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

McKenzie Milton had quite the college football journey. After breaking out at UCF, Milton suffered a gruesome leg injury and was thought to be in danger of never playing again.

However, he recovered and ended up transferring to Florida State, playing the 2021 season.

Milton had a unique helmet for the Hula Bowl, a postseason college football all-star game. Ironically, it is held in Orlando, Florida, home of the UCF Knights. Milton debuted his helmet, sporting both the UCF and Florida State logo on each side. As far as Milton’s future in football, he said he was holding out hope to make it in the NFL.

“Honestly I have no idea,” Milton told reporters when asked what is next for him. “To me, I shoot for the NFL. Hoping that opportunity will come, but we’ll see. It just depends..”

Later the reporter asked if a coaching career is in his future, Milton said his current focus is on playing at the next level, though he does anticipate entering the coaching industry when the time comes for him to hang up his cleats.

In total, Milton finished his college career with 9,458 yards, 75 touchdowns, 28 interceptions, a 61.3% completion percentage, 1,065 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns.

He led the Knights to a 27-6 record as a starter, including an undefeated 2017 season, and two American Athletic Conference championships.

The Hawaiian high school star suffered a catastrophic knee injury during the regular-season finale in 2018 which forced him to miss the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

After multiple surgeries and several years of rehabilitation, Milton took over as quarterback for UCF’s scout team.

After graduating from UCF and completing a long road to recovery, Milton transferred to Florida State to close out his college campaign. Appearing in 6 games for the Seminoles, Milton threw for 775 yards and 3 touchdowns to go along with 6 interceptions while making 4 starts.

Milton was named the ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award winner, which honors the league’s ‘most courageous’ football player and is named for the former Wake Forest and Chicago Bears running back.

Florida State quarterback McKenzie Milton capped off a stellar college career by being named one of three winners of the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award on Tuesday.

Milton’s focus is now on the future, particularly one in the NFL, as he looks to make an impression on some of the 100 scouts on hand for this week’s game.

“You’ve just got to go out there and be yourself,” Milton said. “Perform as if thousands of people are watching, which is how it is in the game. So, it’s nothing different. “Everything you put on film is your job interview as well. So, it’s just trying to maximize every rep, even when I’m not in there, get mental reps, too. But it’s been a good learning experience for sure.”

Milton has no idea what’s in store for him, but he plans to participate in FSU’s Pro Day and possibly one at UCF. “I’m just hoping that opportunity comes,” he said. “It just depends on if it’s right for me and if it’s right for my family, so we’ll see.”

McKenzie Milton will be finishing his college football career where it all began: the Bounce House.