File photo from 2016: Norview QB Darriel Mack (Photo: Andy Hilton/recruit757)
A non-football related injury will sideline former Norview QB D.J. Mack
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Former Norview quarterback D.J. Mack was thrown into the fire in 2018.
As a redshirt freshman, Mack was forced into the starter’s role when McKenzie Milton suffered a season ending injury in the second quarter of the 2018 season finale against USF. Mack entered the game in the second quarter. He carried the ball 10 times for 51 yards, and he also went 5-for-14 passing for 81 yards, with a long of 47 in a 38-10 win.
That clinched the Eastern Division title for UCF. Mack led the Golden Knights into the AAC championship game against Memphis, and he sparked a thrilling 56-41 win. In the game, Mack connected on 19 of 27 pass attempts for 348 yards and two touchdowns, the most passing yards by a freshman since Ryan Schneider in 2000. He also posted four rushing touchdowns from 18 carries, tying the UCF single-game record and setting The American Championship Game record.
In the Fiesta Bowl, UCF fell to LSU by a score of 40-32, but Mack successfully carried the team forward with another season that put them on the national stage.
Now, Mack will miss the start of the 2019 season.
In a tweet on Wednesday, UCF confirmed that Mack suffered a broken ankle in a non-football related activity this week. The statement confirmed that D.J. will miss training camp and there is no specific timetable for his return.
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) July 10, 2019
McKenzie Milton’s injury last November was so significant that he is not expected to return this season, if ever. He took a helmet to the knee that dealt a blow so severe that he had nerve damage and artery damage in addition to needing a knee reconstruction. Lack of blood flow to his lower leg was an immediate concern. He now has good circulation, but is still missing feeling in his surgically repaired leg. Milton has one year of eligibility remaining if he ever gets to play again.
That leaves Redshirt Senior Brandon Wimbush as the most likely starting quarterback for UCF when the season starts. Wimbush transferred in from Notre Dame where he starred in 2017, but saw limited playing time in 2018. D.J. Mack may be able to win his job back, but he’ll have to recover from a broken ankle first.
– Andy Hilton