McMillon on Iron Bowl, injury and more

Alabama still holds the top 2015 class in America despite not adding a commitment to the fold since late August. That pledge was Josh McMillon’s and he returned to Tuscaloosa for an unofficial visit during the Iron Bowl despite a recent knee injury.

Joshua McMillon has been a busy man since publicly committing to Alabama just before the start of his senior football season at Memphis (Tenn.) Whitehaven High School. The four-star Scout middle linebacker projection, ranked No. 10 in America at his position, returned to Tuscaloosa for an unofficial visit with Auburn in town for the 204 Iron Bowl.

After suffering a serious knee injury in early November playoff action, McMillon used crutches to get around Bryant-Denny Stadium and beyond.

“It felt great, actually being at one of those games with my future teammates,” he said of the trip. “There were more commits than other places. It was a great atmosphere with them, Blake (Barnett), Daien Harris (uncommitted), Christian Bell, Mekhi Brown – we had a great time before and after the game.

“Seeing the game was just great. The second-half was the best part, seeing them come back the way they did. You saw Blake (Sims) throw three interceptions and say, ‘wow, how were we able to win?’ The defense was able to stop them from scoring, too…”

McMillon and one of the uncommitted prospects he spent time with while in Tuscaloosa, top-five running back Damien Harris, caught up in person for the first time since July.

“Me and Damien became good friends up at The Opening in Oregon,” he said. “We were on Team Apocalypse together. We had a great time, exchanged numbers and have been talking over time about recruiting. We’ll be glad if he does come.

“We might have a chance, we have a good chance. He’s getting a lot of in-home stuff from Kentucky and Ohio State is recruiting him pretty hard.”

McMillon during the championship game, which he and Harris won together, at Nike's 'The Opening' in July.

Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Michigan and others are still after the 6-foot-3, 239-pound Crimson Tide verbal commitment. While he’s seen plenty of other campuses during the process, even after selecting Alabama, the status remains the same.

“I’m pretty solid on Alabama, I still have a lot of thinking to do, and I have to take my official to Alabama,” he said. “The Alabama fans don’t have too much to worry about.“

Perhaps one reason McMillon seems more set on Tuscaloosa, is the response he received from its coaching staff once he was given the bad injury news last month.

“I did tear my ACL in the first round of the playoffs, it was a complete tear,” he said. “They scheduled the surgery a week after, it was on November 14. Rehab has gone pretty great; the healing process is ahead of course right now. I have great range of motion in my knee so I’m looking at a pretty fast recovery.

“Alabama was the first team to actually call. My recruiting Coach, Coach (Billy) Napier, asked me what happened and I told him…he said don’t worry about it. It wouldn’t affect anything about the recruiting process or my commitment.”

Napier's comments were echoed by Nick Saban on Saturday.

“Coach Saban said it has no effect on me having a scholarship to the University of Alabama,” McMillon said. “They have confidence in my rehab process and that I’ll come back at 100 percent. He said they have the trust in me to be one of the best linebackers at the University of Alabama. That makes me feel good about my choice on August 22 (video below). It was very comforting, with the injury I have and how big it is.”

A finalist for Tennessee’s Mr. Football award in helping lead Whitehaven deep into the postseason, McMillon says his next official visit will be his last. It is likely to be set for Alabama sometime in January.

Video Flashback: McMillon Picks ‘Bama



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