If UCF football fans tuned into 96.9 The Game a couple of hours prior to the Knights’ season-opening win against South Carolina State, they likely heard a familiar voice.
Former UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton is the newest member of the radio station’s pregame show, UCF director of broadcasting Marc Daniels announced.
Milton, who led the Knights to a 27-6 record as a starter which included an undefeated 2017 season, will join Daniels and the radio crew for every pre-game show this year and serve as an on-field analyst for select games.
A star at UCF, Milton dealt plenty with the media throughout his storied career.
“It was somewhat similar to doing interviews but you’ve got to do some homework,” Milton told the Orlando Sentinel. “Instead of rattling off whatever comes to your mind, you’ve got to go into the archives to know what guys have done, what you anticipate them to do and the opponents too.
“All around, it was pretty fun,” he added.
The Hawaiian high school star suffered a catastrophic knee injury during UCF’s regular-season finale in 2018 which forced him to miss the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
After graduating from UCF and completing a long road to recovery, Milton transferred to Florida State to close out his college campaign.
He went through the draft process in hopes of getting an opportunity in the NFL but ultimately retired from the sport in June.
Following conservation with Daniels, the decision to join the UCF radio crew was an easy one for Milton.
“Whatever it was, I always kind of interested in doing that kind of stuff,” he said. “To me, it’s something that I’m interested in. Maybe it can open other doors if I love what I’m doing and I can do it for the long haul.”
Milton has considered coaching football but the timing isn’t right after having become a father over the summer. Instead, he hosts quarterback camps in Orlando and continues to work with Dreamfield in the NIL realm of college athletics.
The radio broadcasts are an extension of his passion for the Knights and the game of football.
“For me, I love UCF, love watching the games and love being around the guys,” Milton added. “It’s just another way to stay involved in the game in a different aspect where I’m not tied into coaching right now and working all of those hours.
“I can still kind of get that fix in areas such as commentating and running my quarterback camps in the city,” he added. “Marc and I have been tight since my playing days at UCF, so it was kind of a no-brainer to partner with him and the broadcast crew at UCF.”
Milton admitted he still has a lot to learn despite his playing experience. He’s turned to Daniels — who’s served as the voice of the Knights for more than two decades — for advice.
“The main thing he harped onto me was to be prepared,” Milton said. “Similar to playing, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. I don’t want to go into anything sounding like a buffoon or not knowing what I’m talking about.
“I learn best by watching and observing and then asking questions so I’m sure I’m going to learn a lot throughout this whole season,” he added.
In addition to the radio broadcast, Milton has partnered with 3MG Roofing and Solar to give UCF followers the “ultimate fan experience.”
The roofing company recently agreed to pay UCF Athletics $1.75 million over the next 5 years to rename as 3MG Club the third-floor premium seating area inside the football stadium, previously known as the Tower Club.
Fans can text “UCFFAN” to 888-458-3640 for a chance to win pre-game on-field entry with Milton, autographed memorabilia and more.
“They’re UCF guys through and through,” Milton said about the roofing company.
As for UCF’s next football game Friday against Louisville, Milton already has begun planning for the pre-game radio show, particularly focusing on the ACC team’s dual-threat quarterback Malik Cunningham.
“Obviously, some things we need to clean up, but I liked what I saw,” he said about UCF’s victory in its opener. “Next week is going to be a true test with an elite quarterback.”
Email Jason Beede at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @therealBeede.