New FSU QB McKenzie Milton makes big first impression on Jameis Winston
It will be another month before McKenzie Milton takes his first official snaps in a Florida State practice, but he already seems to have won the approval of a Seminole legend.
During a "Meet the Transfers" video event hosted Wednesday evening by Seminole Boosters, Milton got the chance to speak with a pair of former Florida State greats -- 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and former FSU star cornerback Bryant McFadden.
While both of the hosts seemed to be extremely impressed by the UCF graduate transfer quarterback, Winston was effusive in his praise.
Right after the interview started, Winston commented that he could tell from Milton's big smile that he was excited about the opportunity ahead of him at Florida State.
"I'm excited to talk to you guys, man," Milton said.
The two-time American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year told Winston and McFadden that he has spent the past month in Tallahassee trying to build relationships with his new teammates and learning everything he can about FSU coach Mike Norvell's offense.
Milton said he also is striving to earn the respect of the coaches and other players by showing up early, staying late and fitting in as a team player.
"I haven't done anything here yet," Milton said. "I've still got to prove myself."
"Nah man, you're gonna prove yourself," Winston responded quickly. "You can just tell by your swagger. You can tell by the look in your eye that you're ready."
Winston, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, then asked Milton how these past two years have helped him grow as a quarterback.
Since leading his former program to 24 consecutive victories, Milton has spent the past two years rehabilitating from a catastrophic leg injury.
"Just looking at it from a different lens," said Milton, who recently was cleared to practice and play at Florida State. "Being on the headset, watching on the sideline, just from that aspect. Seeing everything that goes into the game plans and stuff like that. ...
"You get to go into the defensive staff room. You get to spend a little more time in the installs and stuff like that. You get to really know the Xs and Os behind it. And kind of find out stuff that you like, you don't like. That's been a good thing for me."
Milton added that since he has been in Tallahassee, Norvell and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham have been asking him what types of plays and schemes he feels most comfortable with.
Winston, who was a backup to Drew Brees in New Orleans this past season after five years as a starter in Tampa Bay, nodded his head emphatically several times as Milton spoke.
"I think I'm in the same position that you're in," Winston said. "I got a chance to experience, watch from afar, and really prepare. Understand what I like, what I don't like. And I love the part how you said that Coach is allowing you to add some things to the offense that complement you well."
Milton later was asked what he thinks he can bring to the quarterback position at Florida State.
Everything he mentioned was related to the mental aspect of the game. The quarterback didn't say anything about his ability to pass or run.
He said he can help the offensive line set their protections based on defensive alignment, he can diagnose defensive pressures before the snap, and he can get the offense into the correct run- and pass-checks.
Milton added that those were already some of his strengths before the injury.
"The past two years, I haven't played," he said. "So I've been able to learn even more."
Winston and McFadden responded with more emphatic nods.
"I can tell you this much, Jameis, he says the right things," McFadden said.
You can watch the entire program below. The Milton interview is toward the end.