FSU’s McKenzie Milton, Jordan Travis share the limelight as both push for starting quarterback job

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

McKenzie Milton isn’t afraid of sharing the limelight with fellow Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis.

In fact, he’s more than willing to push him toward it.

Ever since Milton’s arrival in Tallahassee in December, the graduate transfer has been working hard to fit into his new surroundings. That includes providing the right amount of give-and-take from his younger teammates in the Seminoles quarterback room.

“I’m a shy guy who likes to stay to himself but he’s forced me to get out a little bit more,” Travis explained. “For example, we had a meeting about a month ago and he had me hop up in front of the team with the [video] clicker and go through plays.

“That’s not me but I’m thankful to have him push me out of my comfort zone because that’s what I need.”

Milton’s arrival at FSU raised a few eyebrows and fueled speculation that if the Hawaii native was 100% healthy, he would be the favorite to start the season for the Seminoles. But FSU coach Mike Norvell isn’t willing to commit to either player, going as far as to bring both to this week’s ACC football kickoff event in Charlotte.

“I’m grateful for both of those guys because they’re both tremendous players, tremendous leaders and they make an incredible impact on our football team each and every day,” said Norvell. “The thing I’m excited about is the work that they put in this summer.

“Both of those guys are great playmakers and incredible young men and I’m excited about what they’re going to do to help us win games this year.”

Both players are also featured on the cover of the FSU’s media guide.

“I think it’s great that Coach Norvell sees McKenzie and me as leaders because that’s what we carry ourselves as and that’s what we think of ourselves as, leaders. It’s a blessing that he sees us that way,” added Travis. “I’ve been a Florida State fan for a long time and being here is a blessing on its own.”

Milton hasn’t played competitive football since suffering a devastating knee injury in UCF’s 2018 season-finale against USF in Tampa. He’s undergone multiple surgeries and nearly lost his leg but he’s worked tirelessly to get back on the field.

He credits Travis’ work ethic in helping motivate him throughout the process at FSU.

“Jordan’s a special person,” said Milton, who said he feels 100% ready for the fall. “He doesn’t take a play off ever and that’s setting the standard and raising the bar right there to go all out every play. That’s something I need. I need a fire lit under my butt day-in and day-out to be my best.

“I feel like competition always brings out the best in each other but at the same time, there is no ill-will there. If one of us eats, we’re all going to eat so at the end of the day, we all want to win. "

Added Norvell, “To see them compete with each other, the quarterback position is unique, and those guys are both battling, bringing out the best of themselves and bringing out the best of each other in how they grow and how they develop and what they do on the field, off the field, in the weight room, on the practice field.”

For Travis, it’s been a rebirth of sorts.

The redshirt sophomore fell out of love with the game of football and briefly considered walking away after the 2019 season but it was Norvell’s presence that refueled his excitement for the game.

“I didn’t know if football was for me but these coaches came in and instilled confidence in me. I love the game again. I can’t wait to get back on the field,” explained Travis, who started six games for the Seminoles in 2020. He finished with 1,615 total yards of offense.

Milton was careful not to disrupt the team dynamic when he arrived in December.

“Any time you go into a QB room, only one guy is typically going to be the guy,” said Milton, who led UCF to a 27-6 record during his time as the starting quarterback for the Knights. “You never want any animosity in there. I kind of went through the same thing my freshman year at UCF. Jordan has helped me tremendously in learning the playbook and competing for day-in and day-out. "

“I’m ready to get ready to work with him,” added Travis. “If I’m next to him, if I’m behind him, I’m thankful for every opportunity I have.”

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting