The UCF Knights run onto the field before the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019. The LSU Tigers defeated the Knights 40-32 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Megan Turner.

UCF redshirt sophomore quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. was cleared on Monday to participate in UCF’s upcoming matchup against Stanford following a positive nod from doctors, UCF head coach Josh Heupel said. 

“[Mack Jr.] started practicing at the end of last week and was cleared today for this week as well,” Heupel said during a Monday press conference. 


Mack Jr. — who was originally tapped for the starting QB role after junior quarterback McKenzie Milton sustained a knee injury during the game against the USF Bulls in November 2018 — was favored to win the four-way QB battle for the starting role in the 2019 season. 

Mack Jr. stepped in during the USF game, worked well under pressure and helped lead the Knights to defeat the Bulls and earn the American Athletic Conference Championship game to be played at Spectrum Stadium. He led the Knights to defeat the Memphis Tigers and helped earn the Knights a ticket to the 2019 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

In July, Mack Jr. broke his ankle during an activity unrelated to football, according to a UCF Athletics news release. The injury kept him from participating in training camp and sidelined him through week two of the season.

After watching both freshman Dillon Gabriel and Brandon Wimbush receive first snaps in the 2019-20 season, Mack Jr. will return and need to position himself as an option for the starting gig against Stanford. 

Wimbush — the redshirt senior graduate transfer from Notre Dame, who started in week one against Florida A&M — was sidelined in week two’s matchup against FAU due to “just not being 100%,” Heupel said during Saturday’s post-game conference.

Heupel offered little detail as to Wimbush’s injury and current condition, but said he anticipates Wimbush will be in game shape in time for Stanford.

“We’ll get final word on Brandon tomorrow, but I believe he’ll have an opportunity to play in this game [Stanford] as well,” Heupel said during Monday’s press conference.