Football: Linebacker chase on
ND's Booker coaxes visit from Georgia standout
Linebacker Raekwon McMillan, who will be a high school senior this fall, is intrigued with possibly playing college football at Notre Dame. McMillan also likes the idea of playing in the Southeastern Conference, where he is being recruited by Alabama and Auburn.
(Photo courtesy/PATTY LEON, Coastal (Pa.) Courier)
By Tyler James
6:59 am, June 05, 2012
Irish Sports Report
Before Notre Dame received a commitment from stud linebacker Jaylon Smith in the class of 2013, tight ends coach Scott Booker already had started working on 2014 linebacker Raekwon McMillan in the heart of SEC country.
McMillan, a 6-foot-2, 236-pound rising junior at Liberty County High in Hinesville, Ga., holds 16 offers with Notre Dame garnering his attention thanks to the efforts of Booker.
“Coach Booker seems like a real cool dude,”
McMillan said. “I don't know much about Notre Dame, but I know the coaches are real enthusiastic about their players.”
McMillan reported that Booker made a stop by his school last Tuesday before the spring evaluation period ended.
Still early in the recruiting process, McMillan said his relationships with coaches are the most important part of his impending college decision. The relationship McMillan has formed with Booker is solid enough to warrant a campus visit this summer. McMillan said he plans to make a visit to Notre Dame some time in July.
With visits to Ohio State, Georgia and South Carolina already under his belt, McMillan plans to make roughly five visits this summer. In addition to a visit to Notre Dame and a return trip to Ohio State, McMillan said he'll visit Auburn, Alabama and possibly a couple other schools.
Five offers from SEC schools have caught McMillan's attention, but he doesn't anticipate proximity to home being much of a factor in his decision.
“I have three teams that offered from far away: Texas, Ohio State and Notre Dame,” McMillan said. “It really doesn't matter how far it is. Wherever I feel is the best place for me to go play, that's where I'm going to go.”
McMillan does admit that the style of play in the SEC is something he admires.
“It speaks for itself. They've won the last six championships and are very dominant,” McMillan said. “Each team that plays in the SEC, all you see is contact. Being a linebacker, I'm used to it.”
Last season as a sophomore, McMillan recorded 97 tackles, 20 for a loss, two sacks and an interception from his inside linebacker position. Film shows that McMillan plays with a run-stopping mentality and always seems to be running downhill. He's a physical player that does not shy away from making big hits.
“My coach always tells me that as soon as the ball is snapped, I read the guards fast and read the play very fast,” McMillan said.
McMillan said he doesn't have a preference on playing in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. He's set personal goals of adding a few pounds of muscle and lowering his 40-yard dash time to 4.5 seconds as a junior.
When 247Sports.com released their Top 247 in May for the 2014 class, McMillan received one of 14 five-star ratings. He's slated as the 14th best prospect in the class and the No. 2 inside linebacker.
McMillan will learn more about Notre Dame if he visits in July, but he does know about Manti Te'o and the legacy he will leave at the inside linebacker position.
“I think it would be amazing to follow in his footsteps if I choose to go to Notre Dame,” McMillan said.
Class ranking improves
After the commitment of Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame has seen a bump from recruiting sites with rankings of the 2013 class. The Irish are ranked as high as No. 5 on Scout.com and No. 8 on 247Sports.com. Rivals.com has Notre Dame at No. 9.