Florida State's Milton, Travis open up about QB battle at ACC Kickoff
Florida State made ACC history on Thursday morning.
In fact, FSU might have made college football history in the process. Because it's doubtful that any college football team has ever brought two quarterbacks to its conference media day festivities, and it's definitely the first time it's happened at ACC Kickoff.
But both McKenzie Milton and Jordan Travis are in Charlotte on Thursday meeting with the media, talking about the upcoming 2021 season and the QB battle that will take place this August.
"I'm grateful for both of those guys," head coach Mike Norvell said. "Because they're both tremendous players, tremendous leaders. They make an incredible impact on our football team each and every day."
Norvell said he's excited to see how much each player has improved over the last few months as they get ready for preseason practice, which starts on Aug. 6.
"That development through the summer is critical," Norvell said. "And we'll be able to evaluate that here in fall camp."
In years past, each ACC team has brought just two players to the Kickoff event, one offensive and one defensive. This was the first time programs were allowed to bring three players total, which opened up the opportunity for Norvell to bring both of the quarterbacks at the top of his depth chart.
Norvell was asked what he would have done, and who he would have brought to Charlotte, if the old policies were still in place and he was allowed just one offensive player? Would he have brought one of the quarterbacks over the other?
"That's a great question," Norvell said with a smile. "I'll answer that when I have to."
That answer will likely come on Sept. 5 in the season-opener vs. Notre Dame. That's when everyone will definitely know who won the starting QB job at Florida State.
Milton comes into 2021 with as many accolades as any quarterback in the country. He's amassed almost 10,000 total yards from scrimmage in his career and accounted for 92 total touchdowns. He hasn't lost a game since 2016.
But he also hasn't played in a game, a real game, since 2018. He transferred to Florida State in December knowing he would have a chance to win the starting quarterback spot.
If, of course, he could beat out the incumbent starter, Jordan Travis.
Milton was asked on Thursday about how he and Travis have gotten along since he joined the program. He said he went through a similar situation while at UCF as a freshman.
"Anytime you get into a QB room, only one guy is typically going to be the guy," Milton said. "You never want any animosity in there. ... And Jordan has helped me tremendously, learning the playbook and competing with him day in and day out.
"I feel like we're all helping each other and that's what it's all about."
Travis has the Internet, too. He had a TV a few years ago. So, like the rest of the college football world, he knows about Milton's accomplishments as well.
He knows it's going to be a tough battle to hold off the transfer and retain his starting role. He also knows he's going to do everything it takes to do just that.
"I've just kept improving on all the stuff I was already working on," Travis said. "Little things, little mechanics. Mentally, I'm just trying to become a better leader, more outspoken. So, I speak a little more now. I'm just trying to get better at that type of stuff."
Milton once again confirmed he was 100 percent healthy and thanked the FSU staff for its hard work in making sure he was fully recovered from the devastating injury.
Travis, meanwhile, said it's been a blessing to be around Milton every day and that he has definitely elevated the standard in the QB room.
"It's very high now," Travis said. "He holds us to a standard. ... There's no off days. We're throwing every day, trying to get in work."
And Travis admitted he could see a scenario where both players were a part of the offensive game plan.
"I think we'll both contribute to the team for sure," he said. "I have no idea how it's going to go, we still have fall camp to go through. But it's a blessing that we'll both be able to possibly be on the field at the same time and just work together to get some W's."