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.