From the onset of his commitment back in March, Bobby McMillen has taken a new role in the recruiting process.
The three-star linebacker out of Naperville Central (IL) became Iowa State’s first 2015 pledge March 8 and has since moved from recruit to recruiter, aiming to bring other top-tier players with him to Ames next summer.
“I was the first commit and I almost took it as a job to create and get the best recruiting class that we possibly could for the Class of 2015 at Iowa State,” McMillen told AllCyclones.com. “I think our class so far is amazing, I think we have some guys that could definitely come in in 2015 and make a big impact right away. That’s going to grow, I believe, too.”
“We’ve got a lot of guys that are possibly interested that are going to come on visits with us and see why we committed to Iowa State, how it’s such a family-oriented team and organization and how welcoming all the players and coaches are.”
The Cyclones have currently locked in 10 commitments in a recruiting class ranked No. 73 nationally, and rising. McMillen, who has been in a group text with many of the 10, has planned his official visit for Oct. 11 against Toledo. If all goes according to plan, he will be joined that weekend by fellow commits Bryce Meeker, Dominic DeLira, Devine Ozigbo, Julian Good-Jones and Marcel Spears for the Homecoming game.
During the recent weekend, McMillen was back in Ames on visits with Emmanuel Rugamba (2016), a teammate on last season’s Naperville Central state championship team in Illinois, and friend Antonio Shenault, the Lake Park (IL) cornerback. Rugamba will be entering his junior season and hasn’t yet been offered while Shenault is still pondering his offer to join the Cyclones in 2015 and will likely choose between Iowa State and Minnesota.
“As we went on our visit, (Rugamba) fell in love with it. I could see it in his eyes,” McMillen said. “As an unbiased opinion — yeah I’m biased because I committed there — it’s hard not to fall in love with the place when you get there. Everybody is so welcoming and the facilities and everything are just top-notch, top-tier things.”
The core of McMillen’s focus has shifted back to his senior season at Naperville Central, but the upcoming season does hold some importance for his future. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker has been told by ISU coaches that the plan is to have him arrive at Iowa State as a weakside linebacker.
Because of attrition at Naperville Central, McMillen will spend his senior season at middle linebacker. He hopes to learn all positions ahead of his Ames arrival, however, with goals to add strength and speed.
“Obviously they want me to focus on my last high school season, but they said they’re looking at me as a Will linebacker, which is what I played last year in high school,” McMillen said. “I truly think as a first-year college backer that’s probably a good position for me. It’s an easier position to understand than the Mike and obviously the Sam, but it still gives me something to prepare for.”
When McMillen committed early, he was warned by ISU coach Paul Rhoads that the recruiting process won’t stop, much the same as it continued for Allen Lazard after his early commitment in last year’s cycle. Those words have rang true — Syracuse offered after-the-fact — but there is no doubt McMillen has his eyes set on cardinal and gold.
“Recruiting hasn’t stopped after I committed, but I’m all the way a Cyclone and nothing is going to change that at all,” McMillen said. “I tell them I appreciate the time and I appreciate your interest in me, but the only way I’m leaving Iowa State is if every single coach from that coaching staff leaves, which I doubt.”