Coach Speak: Josh McMillon

Alabama landed one of its top targets on Friday in four-star linebacker Joshua McMillon, but as his coach points out, it's more than about his on-field capabilities.

Rodney Saulsberry admits that he’s had his fair share of SEC-type talents at Memphis (Tenn.) Whitehaven High School, but his latest pupil may be the best package both on and off the field.

Four-star linebacker Joshua McMillon publicly committed to Alabama on Friday, and the veteran coach says it’s a natural fit for both parties.

“Josh is the ideal athlete you want to have on your team,” he said. “He’s a serious student, and a wonderful football player. He’s very comfortable being a leader on the field and in the classroom.”

Carrying a 4.2 GPA into his senior season and standing at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds or so, it was little surprise that the No. 10 middle linebacker prospect on Scout saw his recruitment explode over the last calendar year.

“Physically, he’s more mature than most guys, and he’s been starting since his sophomore year and that was on a state championship team,” Saulsberry said. “So the natural ascension to leadership was easy for him with a great group of guys. They want to be back there, and not getting there last year is a driving force. He wants to be a part of it again, which is why he wanted to get the recruiting process over with.

“He’s a technician, a lot of guys that are naturally athletic, they kind of lean on their athleticism at times and make plays just because they’re athletic. He’s a student of the game, he’s technically sound, he makes the right plays at the right time, he reads his keys properly and his intelligence translates to the field. He has a high football IQ, which makes him an asset to any team, because he can be a (signal) call guy.”

Nick Saban has relayed a similar message to McMillon, who can be a versatile part of Alabama’s multiple looks down the road. His prep coach says he can fit in multiple schemes.

“If a team plays a 3-4, he’s a natural fit at that outside linebacker position, and that even translates beyond college with his skill-set and his size,” he said. “You have to be bigger in that scheme, but he can easily put his hand in the dirt and be a 4-3 defensive end. But linebacker is his best fit.

“He’ll just have to continue to develop physically, he’s a pretty big kid already, but when you go to college and a more dedicated strength program and a better nutritional program, he’ll continue to develop physically at a top level program. It will be a school that will challenge him to meet those high expectations. It’s all about line schemes and being exposed to more.”

Listen to what McMillon had to say about picking Alabama below:

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