It all got started for Raekwon McMillan during his sophomore season. He started to draw interest from schools in the southeast, that spread nationally, and he is now one of the top linebackers in the country.
He has looked hard over his list of scholarship offers and has narrowed his list to five schools. A few others fought to stay in the mix, but the four-star senior out of Hinesville (Ga.) Liberty County is sure he will sign with one of five schools.
Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, and Ohio State are his finalists.
"I will be signing with one of those schools. That is the five for me. Those five are the only schools I am considering," McMillan said.
McMillan may have a group of five, but he has separated the group. He now has three favorites.
"The top three for me are Alabama, Ohio State, and Clemson. Those three are the ones at the top for me right now with Georgia and Florida kind of on the outside. I just feel good about my top three and they have showed me a lot that I like."
At one time not too long ago, McMillan was publicly naming Ohio State as his leader.
"I don't really have a leader right now. After I went to Clemson for the Georgia, I took a step back and looked at things a little differently. For now, I can easily see myself at Alabama, Clemson, or Ohio State."
What about the visit to CU changed McMillan's view?
"I feel good about Clemson right now. I have a great relationship with the coaches there and I liked what I saw when I was there for the Georgia game. The defense was aggressive, the defensive line was strong, and the atmosphere was awesome that night. I wanted to get a good look at the Clemson defense and just see how it was in a big game and it showed me something. I saw what I needed to see."
Some still feel the Tigers and the other three schools on his list trail the Buckeyes. The 6-foot-2, 238 pound linebacker has tripped to Columbus many times and he has a bond with that group of coaches.
"The thing about Ohio State is my relationship," McMillan said. "I have good relationships with other schools, but me and Urban Meyer have had some of the best talks. I really like the coaches at Ohio State and the relationship I have is a key component in my decision. The only downside there is distance, but I am OK with that. That is not that big of a deal."
It was very simple when asked about Alabama, the third school in his top three. He does have one concern though.
"Alabama is Alabama. They have it all there. They win, they have great coaches, and the coaches are great. My only concern there is playing time. They have so many great players and that is great, but when would I see the field? Everything else is a positive."
Two schools remain in the picture that do not find themselves too high on McMillan's list right now. They are still both under strong consideration though.
Both schools had the Under Armour All-American on their campus over the summer and the in-state school will host him as an official visitor in two weeks.
"At the beginning of the process, Georgia was recruiting me hard. Things slowed down a while ago, but it picked back up. Georgia is an amazing overall school, so I still like it. I hear a lot about Georgia around here, so it would be great to go there. I will see how this visit (Official visit Sept. 27) goes, how my parents feel about it, and then see where they are on my list. I just have to connect with Georgia better."
The official visit to Florida will be key for McMillan and the Gators as well. That visit take place Thanksgiving weekend late in November.
"I will be at Florida for the Florida State game, so it will be a big game. I like Florida's defense and that is what I like most. I like Coach [Travaris] Robinson (Defensive backs) and Coach [D.J.] Durkin (Defensive Coordinator) a lot too. Florida plays fast and they have a lot to like."
McMillan is still having fun, still enjoying the recruiting process, but he is looking forward to finding the right school for him.
The process should come to an end late in December or early in January.
"I might commit at the end of December here at home and do my own thing or it will happen at the Under Armour All-America game. I really don't know now. I will figure it out after my official visits are done," said McMillan.
All he is focused on now is his senior year and making the right decision for his future.
"I have had Ohio State at the top before and they are still high on my list, but after my Clemson visit, I decided to pull back a little.
"I used to have Georgia on top a long time ago, so I have to look at everything and figure it all out. I feel good about where things are at and I am in a good place. It will come together for me."
Official visit to Clemson is October 18, Ohio State is October 26, and Alabama is November 8.
McMillan focused on 'the five'
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