Who You Calling Chubby?

With a heavy rain pouring down on a day late last May, Liberty County's weight training class had to get creative.

Running the 40-yard dash on the football field was the original plan, but the weather dictated a change in venue.

The group settled on a hallway next to the cafeteria, an unconventional place to test one of the most important measurables in the game.

Regardless of the conditions, junior Raekwon McMillan toed the line. The linebacker took off, and at the end of the hallway stood a coach with a stopwatch that read 4.65 after McMillan passed him.

Not bad for a 6-2, 235-pound recruit still with time to improve. McMillan, who had more than ten scholarship offers before the end of his sophomore year, is somewhat of a self-made physical specimen.

"I used to be a really chubby kid," he said. "Back in sixth grade, I thought I could actually do something in football. I started working out at home and on the field."

His workouts were a throwback. Push-ups, sit-ups and exercises using his own weight against itself made up the bulk of his regimen.

"A lot of explosive stuff," he explains.

The foundation he created at home led to a starting spot by the second game of his freshman season.

He showed promise and his coaches, led by Kirk Warner, began pushing him to see the bigger picture.

"Everyday after practice my coach sends me a text telling me what I did wrong and stuff that I can do to improve," McMillan said.

The advice paid off. McMillan totaled 97 tackles and five forced fumbles in 2011, establishing himself as a top young player in the state in the process.

"I just use my size as an opportunity to change my life," he said. "Going to college and using it in the right way because people around here use it wrong."

He's learned lessons through the mistakes of friends. Last season, one of the best players on the team was arrested on drug charges. That won't happen to McMillan, he says. He's already a known figure in the community and is beginning to feel the pressure that comes with such status. He was asked to sign autographs one day in the spring of his sophomore year during a shopping trip at Wal-Mart.

"That was kind of crazy," he said. "I'm not anybody right now, but in a couple years I'm going to be a major college recruit."

It's too late – McMillan is already major. And the attention will only pick up from here.


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