Looking to get his commitment out of the way before the Memphis (Ala.) Whitehaven football team kicks off the season Saturday, Joshua McMillon made his decision public on Friday.
“The university I’ll be attending in the fall of 2015 is the University of Alabama,” he said. “There’s several factors…Alabama’s name, they have several linebackers that they’ve sent to the NFL including C.J. Mosley, Dont’a Hightower, Rolando McClain. It seems like they’ve been doing a terrific job grooming these young men into NFL prospects.
“Then they have my major aerospace engineering, and them being in the top 100, top 50 for that type of program is great.”
The four-star linebacker projection, who says he’s at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds and wants to maintain or even trim his frame going forward, also noted Nick Saban’s approach in securing his commitment. The Crimson Tide won out over Michigan, Ole Miss and Auburn.
“Coach Saban talked to me on various occasions,” McMillon said. “He told me they were in great need at the middle linebacker position, a captain of the defense. They were looking for guys my size, and I fit what they needed. Also, the distance, I was far enough away (from home) to grow up on my own but not too far away to get back home in the case of a family emergency.”
As one would imagine, family was another big part of the decision for the four-star prospect. Most of the group accompanied him to his last Tuscaloosa visit, in mid-July, and it sealed the deal for his verbal pledge.
“It was really when I sat down and got entrenched with one of the players, linebacker Denzell Devall,” he said. “He has the same type of background; both parents at home, great student, great athlete and he kind of talked to me about his experience going through the recruiting process. He had two big schools recruiting him, but he felt like Alabama was the best choice for him.
“My parents were very impressed with the young man he is, and them being on campus and getting a feel for everything, seeing the engineering program for their selves was great. They felt home and comfortable, so we went from there.”
The next logical move was to let his future coach know his intentions.
“I told Coach Saban then, actually it was kind of a relief,” McMillon said. “He kind of changed his whole position and posture in the chair. He was very excited; he told me that he was very excited to get me in. He sees great things with the recruiting class they’re bringing in, and also with myself. My GPA (4.2) will also make me a great fit; I can be a captain and get everyone in their perfect position to be set before the play starts.
“He says he believes he can trust me, and Coach Kirby Smart said that, too.”
Scout tabs the senior as the No. 10 middle linebacker in the country, but Alabama views him as one of its most versatile targets.
“I can play several of the positions, I play defensive end at my high school,” he said. “I do have a year of playing middle linebacker; they need help at the middle linebacker position. I could also help out at the SAM, who lines up as an outside linebacker at the line of scrimmage, or also the WILL, another inside linebacker spot. There’s several positions I can play on the defensive because of my length, size and my frame.”
Looking to take official visits later in the process, though none are currently scheduled, the latest addition to Alabama’s No. 1 class wants “to see if this is the best choice for me.” He did add a message for UA fans keeping up with his recruitment, however.
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