'National champion' UCF celebrates at Disney

From ESPN - January 7, 2018

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Thousands of black-and-gold-clad fans packed Main Street USA five deep to cheer on the self-proclaimed national champion UCF football team during a raucous parade at Walt Disney World on Sunday afternoon.

With president John Hitt and athletic director Danny White leading the procession in a white car with Mickey Mouse, the UCF marching band, cheerleaders and football team walked the route surrounded by screaming fans, with many holding signs declaring the team national champions. Other fans wore newly printed national championship shirts.

Quarterback McKenzie Milton and linebacker Shaquem Griffin stood atop a parade float and waved at the fans.

"I did not know what to expect, but it was surreal. Every time we took another turn, I was like, 'Holy cow,' there's that many people here," White said. "Just an awesome showing by Knight Nation."

White declared UCF national champs after a 34-27 win over Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl to cap a perfect 13-0 season. Then he added to that declaration. A national championship banner will hang inside Spectrum Stadium, and coaches will be paid national championship bonuses.

Players had no idea that White planned to call them national champions -- not even after their win over Auburn.

"It's pretty sweet," Milton said. "It's cool they'd have that kind of confidence in our group, and I just hope they give us some rings while they are at it."


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