Grant, after all, had seen countless kids roll through Columbus with a me-first mindset on the recruiting scene.
“When he was being recruited they told me they had a recruit they wanted me to meet,” Grant said. “I was like, ‘Cool, another one of these guys that probably thinks he’s all that or something. He’s going to want to show me his highlight tape or something I don’t care about.’”
A highlight tape? According to Grant, he was subjected to Hudl film on a regular basis.
“A lot of times guys just want you to believe they’re good,” he said. “But you’ve got to realize it’s a highlight tape. It’s not a full game. Everybody looks great on their highlight tape. I mean, I look great on my highlight tape.”
Not only did McMillan not pull out his highlight tape, he also barely wanted to leave the house.
“He didn’t want to go out to the party scene,” Grant said. “He just wanted to sit in the house and watch TV and play video games every now and then. Most of the time he just wanted to chill out and get something to eat. I was like, ‘This guy’s different.’ Ever since then, from recruiting, we would talk every other week or so. He told me he was coming here. I knew before everyone else. Ever since then, we’ve just been on a roll.”
It wasn’t just on the recruiting visit that McMillan showed his maturity. Once he showed up to Ohio State as an early enrollee, he got to work. Grant – the player who he was competing with for playing time – served as his big brother in training camp. McMillan was one of the first players to lose his black stripe, an act that signals a player has done enough to become a full member of the team.
Grant, a highly touted player coming out of high school, has stated on several occasions that his goal is to help McMillan avoid some of the mistakes that he made when he was a young college player. So far, Grant believes McMillan is on track to have a much more impactful career than he had.
“He came in with a humble mindset ready to learn, and that played a big part in it,” Grant said. “He bought into the coaching. The biggest thing is that he believed in me, too – even the times I didn’t believe in myself. That shows a lot about his character. It’s pretty cool that when you come to the sideline and you have someone who plays the same position. I can be like, ‘Hey, bro, did you see where I messed up?’ and he can tell me instead of saying, ‘I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention.’”
Grant considers McMillan to be a part of his family, and that showed in the Big Ten title game when the true freshman went up to the stands to hug Grant’s family members after the game. This will be the only season the two get to play together, but Grant views this as a lifelong bond, something that eclipses the level of friendship he’s had with any other player.
“That’s my little brother,” he said. “Just because we can relate to each other and we’ve been cool ever since. Just because I leave doesn’t mean anything. We’ve got phones. We’ll text each other.”