UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton will be entering the transfer portal as he looks for a place to use his final year of eligibility. Milton and the program made the announcement in a video released Thursday documenting the decision, which Milton described as "one of the hardest things for me to do."

"But it just makes the most sense," Milton said. "I'm trying to think of it more logically than emotionally, because you know I bleed black and gold. It's where my heart is at. It's just one of those things where it's DG's team now. I feel like the torch is passed. He's going to take it to another level."

The "DG" to whom Milton referred is Knights sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel, who took over the starting job last season while Milton was rehabbing a gruesome leg injury he suffered in the 10th game of the 2018 season. Gabriel threw for 3,653 yards and 29 touchdowns last season and has already thrown for 3,353 yards and 30 touchdowns threw nine games in the 2020 season.

Milton led the Knights to a 13-0 record in 2017 as UCF completed a remarkable turnaround under then-coach Scott Frost. The program had been 0-12 in 2015, the year before Milton arrived. But he started 10 games at quarterback in 2016 during Frost's first season as the program began to rebound. The Knights finished 6-7 in 2016 before their historic 2017 season, during which Milton threw for 4,037 yards and 37 touchdowns.

With Milton back at quarterback, UCF was undefeated again in the 2018 season before his injury. Ultimately, the Knights' two-year undefeated run ended in a 40-32 decision to LSU in the Fiesta Bowl with Milton sidelined. Gabriel entered the program the following year. Like Milton, Gabriel is from Hawaii. The two have become close. Milton has yet to appear in a game this season while Gabriel has led UCF to a 6-3 record.

"He's earned that right to be our QB," Milton said. "I wouldn't want to slow down his momentum. He could very well be a top draft pick next year the way he's been playing. Wherever I go, I'm going to take some tools I learned from him and try to apply them to my game."