Friday, February 22, 2013
One team rebounds for Raekwon McMillan
By Kipp Adams
With a junior season that saw ESPN Watch List linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty Co.) rack up 151 tackles, seven sacks, five forced fumbles -- one of which he returned for a TD, one interception, 316 yards rushing and nine touchdowns, it comes as no surprise that over 40 programs have extended offers to the 6-foot-2, 235-pound prospect.
Showing versatility has become a big factor in recruiting Raekwon McMillan.
As someone who grew up following the Georgia Bulldogs, McMillan is aware of the concern that he will exit the state to play college football because of recent junior day visits to Alabama, Clemson and Florida. Having early leaders like Ohio State and Clemson has also played into that perception.
“Everybody thinks that I have left Georgia out, but I have been to Georgia at least six times already,” McMillan said. “Georgia has always been in my top five. I love Coach [Mark] Richt, I love talking to him and I love talking to Coach O (Kirk Olivadotti). I just want look around and make sure I am being thorough with the recruiting process. I don’t want to just go to Georgia because I am an in-state player. I want to make my decision true and honest.”
Two months ago, the chances of McMillan ending up in Athens looked bleak. If the Bulldogs had gotten good news on Feb. 4, they might have been out of the running for his services in 2014.
“To be honest, at one point there Georgia did not recruit me at all really,” McMillan said. “We would talk every two weeks or so. Knowing they had seven linebackers coming in and they were trying to get Reuben Foster, I was thinking if they got Reuben I would just eliminate Georgia period because that would be like eight linebackers in a class. They did not recruit me hard for a while, but it is starting to pick up more with them now.”
While seven signees do project to play linebacker at Georgia, at least two of them will play outside linebacker, with a third possibly playing both inside and outside. Georgia runs a 3-4 defense which calls for two inside linebackers on the field at the same time. Regardless of the additional need at his position, McMillan showed some concern about the linebacker-heavy 2013 class signed by Richt and his staff.
“Georgia is building depth at inside linebacker,” McMillan said. “I am not scared of competition, but knowing those guys will have that extra year will probably give them an edge over me for playing time my first year.”
Some schools, like Ohio State and Florida, have piqued McMillan’s interest by telling him they plan to utilize him in both 3-4 and 4-3 formations.
“Coach [D.J.] Durkin at Florida made a lot of sense when he told me they play both so they can show NFL teams that their players can excel in both schemes so they don’t limit how they are projected,” McMillan said.