UCF sophomore quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. did a terrific job in 2018 stepping into the starting role when McKenzie Milton was unable to play. Mack led the Knights to a win against ECU in October in spot duty, but then was called into action full-time after Milton suffered a horrific leg injury in the regular season finale against USF.
However, with Milton still sidelined, Mack was likely heading into camp with a competition on his hands to start for the Knights with incoming Notre Dame transfer Brandon Wimbush. But according to UCF, Mack suffered a broken ankle in a non-football related activity and will miss all of camp with no timetable set for his return to action.
Mack led UFC to a win in the American Athletic Conference championship game before a 745-day streak of defeat-free college football came to an end with a 40-32 loss to LSU in the Fiesta Bowl. His work as a freshman in relief of Milton, one of the most prolific quarterback's in program history, could have given him a leg up in this fall's quarterback battle with Wimbush, but that effort has been stalled by injury.
While coach Josh Heupel will boast about the talent in the entire quarterback room, this injury opens the door for Wimbush to be one of the most impactful transfer quarterbacks in 2019. UCF is still the team to beat in the American and one of a very few teams from the Group of Five considered in the mix for a New Years' Six bowl game or College Football Playoff appearance.
Wimbush was the starter for Notre Dame during a 10-win campaign in 2017 before Ian Book took over as the new QB1 in 2018 and led the Irish to the College Football Playoff. If Wimbush can find the same success that Mack and Milton had before him, it will resonate as one of the high points of his college career.