WSU trip set for top Treasure State prospect

MONTANA's TOP PREP football prospect, the state's Gatorade Player of the Year, will be making an official visit to Washington State later this month. The 6-4, 280 pound hoss -- a two-time All-State performer on both the offensive and defensive lines -- hails from the same city that sent Ty Paine, a Cougar great from the 70s, to WSU.

McMillan (6-4, 285, 5.1) out of Billings, trips to the Palouse on Jan. 19. The following weekend he'll officially visit Iowa.

"Pullman is an absolute college town and it's about Athletics there, and I know that because I have a good friend who used to live over there and said the football season is just crazy and the fan support is very good. Just playing the Pac-10 is pretty huge... And Iowa, the Big Ten is (awesome) as well," said McMillan.

Todd Sturdy is running the recruiting point for the Cougs, with Reese Morgan recruiting McMillan for the Hawkeyes.

"The two schools that I'm going to visit are at the top and I think I'll know more once I visit them," said McMillan, who noted he remains open to all schools.

WASHINGTON STATE, along with Iowa, likes McMillan on offense. Colorado State, Montana and Montana State have talked to him about playing on the defensive side of the ball. Arizona State and Stanford were also talking to him earlier but contact from both schools has since cooled. Wyoming had also earlier offered him as a DL.

"Arizona State, they got a few other (verbals from) defensive linemen...Wyoming had (offered) but they got other linemen so that's not on the table anymore...I went to Montana on an official visit and as far as a Division I-AA school I don't think you can get any better than that. But I don't know if I want to play I-AA in college," said McMillan, who said the goal is to play I-A.

McMillan holds a slight preference for the defensive side of the ball but also said it's not that important to him where he plays at the next level.

"I do enjoy defense a little bit, you get lay on the little guy for a while," quipped McMillan.

Academics will be the primary factor in his decision, said the Billings Central Catholic standout, with a program committed to a winning tradition also of importance. His future teammates could also play a big role in his decision.

"I think you've got to have a sense of brotherhood to be successful. You can't play together if you're not a family," said McMillan.

McMillan holds offers from Montana, Montana State and Colorado State. Pre-visit, neither WSU or Iowa has yet offered the road grader.

"(Coaches) have said they like my toughness a lot, my strength. Quite a few coaches have said they saw my leadership skills on film. We were state champions, 12-0 this year," said McMillan. "On offense, we run the wing-t and I played guard so I pull on almost every play and I think they like that I can get out there and block on a smaller, quick kid and stay on him."

CONJECTURE FROM THE sidelines is that the majors might be waiting to offer because McMillan does play against competition in Montana, generally considered to be of a lesser caliber than that of other states. For his part, the personable McMillan says that's a misconception.

"I think Montana football is pretty highly underrated," he said.

Schools also often want to have a prospect in on an official for the staff to see what kind of guy he is, project how he'll fit into the program and get a sense of his character. On that score, McMillan looks to grade out just fine.

Selected a team captain this season, and selected by his peers for his leadership qualities as a junior in 2007, McMillan is also an exceptional student, with a 3.8 GPA and a 26 score on the ACT. He's been named Academic All-State for Football, Track and Basketball over his Billings Central Catholic career.

Casey McMillan profile

  • Among his honors and accolades, McMillan was named All-State at both offensive guard and defensive tackle his last two seasons, the 2007 Gatorade Montana Football Player of the Year and unanimous, All-Conference in '06 and '07 playing both ways.

  • McMillan plays F/C for Billings Central Catholic's hoops team and is averaging 9 points and 6.5 rebounds a game this season. "Not too bad for a football player," laughed McMillan. "I was about 300 pounds during football but I've lost quite a bit of weight during basketball. (The refs) make sure to watch me to make sure I'm not getting into too much contact. There was one (foul called) the other day on film where I was about two feet away from the guy."

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