Raekwon McMillan has been a busy man over the past month and a half. Aside from earning an invite to Nike’s “The Opening” that takes place over the summer in Oregon, the four-star linebacker visited three different programs.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound McMillan’s first trip of the three took place just over a month ago and was to check out the defending national champion Crimson Tide. This stay in Tuscaloosa gave him a better appreciation for the Alabama program.
“The only reason why Alabama was a top school for me was because of the tradition of winning and all the rings,” McMillan told Scout. “On this trip I was able to pick out the behind the scenes parts of the program that I enjoyed. The facilities, the campus, and the coaches gave me a great feeling about Alabama.”
His time on the Alabama campus also included a conversation with the program's on-field leaders.
“I was taken to meet with Coach (Nick) Saban and Coach (Kirby) Smart,” he said. “They sat me down and made it clear they felt I was the perfect match for their defensive scheme. They were confident I’d be a great player if I chose to join their program, but that it would come with hard work.”
The next order of business was a three-day stop in Columbus to view an Ohio State spring practice, and to spend some more time around the school. The Hinesville (GA) Liberty County linebacker got to meet three special people.
“The part of this visit to Ohio State that wasn’t like any other was being able to meet Archie Griffin, Gene Smith, and Bobby Carpenter,” McMillan stated. “I knew who all three were but never thought I’d be introduced on a visit. It was a ‘wow’ moment for me.”
His talk with the Buckeye head coach was an important part of his visit, and had a large impact on him.
“Coach (Urban) Meyer wanted to talk to me for a while,” he said. “He didn’t mention recruiting, a great four years at his program, rings, or championships, once. It was all about family. He talked about how important it is to him. That was impressive and it was eye-opening and unexpected.”
“I’ll be returning to Ohio State again over the summer,” McMillan continued. “My parents haven’t been to Columbus before so it will be a great opportunity for them to see what I have been talking about.”
The most recent visit the highly touted recruit has taken was to Athens, to see what the in-state Bulldogs were all about. The pattern continued as he spoke to the head coach of the Georgia program.
“Coach (Mark) Richt and I had some one on one time and it was nice for him to show me that kind of attention,” he stated. “He made it clear that I was wanted and pitched me the idea of staying home, being the hero, and winning championships for the home state team.”
There was one aspect of the unofficial visit that really stood out to the Georgia native.
“I was with Coach (Kirk) Olivadotti, the linebackers coach, and we broke down film of Georgia’s SEC championship game against Alabama,” McMillan explained. “He showed me plays I could have made for them if I chose to play for Georgia.”
When asked for a group of favorite schools, McMillan only named one school.
“Ohio State is my clear top school right now and I still have some thinking to do about where the other schools stand,” he said. “I still like others like Alabama, Georgia, and Clemson.”
McMillan plans to make his choice towards the end of December. He will be graduating early so he can be an early enrollee for the program he chooses to attend.