The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed undrafted free agent CB Mazzi Wilkins out of USF.
You don’t have to be a Bulls fan to know who Mazzi Wilkins is. In November of 2018, UCF Knights faced off against the USF Bulls in Raymond James Stadium. The Bulls lost that game, but the Knights lost something more important, they lost their QB after a big hit by USF’s CB Mazzi Wilkins. UCF’s Milton ran to the outside on a QB keeper and was sandwiched between Mazzi Wilkins, who made the stop, and Tyrone Barber, who came in from behind, resulting in the QB sustaining a knee injury that nearly forced doctors to amputate his right leg.
After reviewing the play over and over again, it was obvious that Wilkins did not intentionally lower his helmet and put it into the knee of UCF’s star QB. However, that did not stop Wilkins from receiving death threats.
During an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Mazzi Wilkins broke down the aftermath of that unfortunate incident.
“Oh yeah, I got so much backlash,” Wilkins, told The Tampa Bay Times via the telephone, back in January. “It got really bad.”
“If you watch the tape you can tell that I felt sorry once it happened. But I got threats against my parents, against my mom under my Instagram pictures. People going on Facebook, Twitter, everything.”
Despite Wilkins Tweeting later in the evening after the incident that he wished McKenzie a speedy recovery, he still received threats and unwarranted insults.
I want to send my prayers to Mckenzie Milton you are a baller and I wish you to a speedy recovery 🙏🏿
— Mazzi Wilkins (@mazzi_inc) November 24, 2018
Wilkins and McKenzie have met since that dark day, and despite being rivals schools on the football field, they are not rivals off of the field. The two are friends now.
“He goes to USF, I go to UCF, we battle out on the field, but off it, we’re like brothers … we’re friends now and it just goes to show what football can do. It can bring people together, like a USF Bull and a UCF Knight together, which is something special.” – Mazzi Wilkins via The Orlando Sentinel.
Fast forward to now, Mazzi Wilkins has been signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in what according to Greg Auman, is to replace Jalen Allison who is injured and will be waived.
New Bucs corner Mazzi Wilkins takes the roster spot of Jalen Allison, an undrafted rookie from North Dakota State who is being waived-injured. Rookies reported to training camp on Sunday.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) July 23, 2019
Wilkins was asked to come in for tryouts during minicamp and has been asked to come back and fill Allison’s position ahead of training camp on Friday. He will be strong competition during this year’s training camp and could find himself on the 53 man roster coming out of the preseason.
During his 4 seasons at the University of South Florida, he recorded 109 total tackles, 19 pass defends, 3 INTs, and half-sack in 40 games.