ORLANDO, Fla. — It's not known if UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton will ever return to football.
- McKenzie Milton was severely injured in the War on I-4 game
- USF's Mazzi Wilkins tackled him, leading to injury
- Milton, Wilkins say they had been talking since then
- Met for the first time face-to-face Saturday night
The Knights star took a gruesome hit to his knee during the War on I-4 game last year against USF. He had to have emergency surgery, and is now in a long road to recovery.
But Milton says he holds no ill will to the USF player who took him down. And he met cornerback Mazzi Wilkins for the first time Saturday night.
The two appeared at the Better Man event at UCF. The three-hour event is meant to empower and inspire men to serve a higher calling in their community.
"Personally, I didn't feel like there was any need for forgiveness there," Milton said, "Because I was never upset or mad at Mazzi for the hit. It's football, injuries are a part of the game."
Event organizers brought the two players together to talk about the importance of forgiveness.
After the game in November, Wilkins tweeted that he hoped Milton had a speedy recovery, and was immediately attacked by angry fans. Wilkins said he got death threats as well. But while all that was happening, Wilking and Milton were actually talking to each other.
"We were still communicating on the low," Wilkins said. "We were cool, there was really no ill will, we're football players so we knew what it was."
Wilkins and Milton said coming together was about bringing closure to everyone.
"We battle it on the field, but off it we're like brothers. We're friends now," Milton said. "It just goes to show what football can do. It can bring people together. A USF Bull and a UCF Knight together, which is special."