One of the best defensive players in the 2014 class is linebacker Raekwon McMillan. A coveted prospect on the recruiting trail, McMillan could make an instant impact in college.
McMillan is coming off an impressive junior season which has gotten the attention of everyone in the college football recruiting industry. He has big buzz surrounding him, and he will be looking to have one more monster season this fall.
With his great talent, production and recruitment all heavily talked about, McMillan warrants a closer look.
McMillan is a terrific linebacker prospect from Georgia who plays for Liberty Country High School. He registered 152 tackles as a junior, with 22 for loss.
As a sophomore in 2011, he earned 247Sports All-American honors after making 84 tackles, with 16 for loss. McMillan has been selected to participate in the 2014 Under Armour All-American game.
Ohio State leads Alabama and Clemson, according to Chad Simmons of Scout.com (subscription required).
McMillan passes the hoof test with flying colors; he is 6'2" and weighs 242 pounds. He has excellent read-and-react ability versus running plays. He displays explosive quickness in the box.
McMillan can quickly read his keys, locate the football and fire into alleys to challenge running backs. He does not back down from lead blockers or offensive linemen, as he can shoot his hands to stack blocks at the point of attack and has the strength to shed.
McMillan plays with an aggressive, tough and physical demeanor on the field. He has great range due to possessing a great burst to get to the edges of the box to keep running backs from turning the corner.
He is a big hitter who can be a solid tackler when he can stay square and drive through his target. McMillan is a solid athlete who is at his best when blitzing on third downs.
McMillan only has two concerns as a player: his weight and coverage ability.
Already weighing 242 pounds in high school, McMillan will naturally add more bulk by physically maturing and participating in a college strength and conditioning program.
He must be careful how much weight and bulk he gains, as his athleticism, quickness and movement skills could be hindered.
McMillan needs to work on his cover skills and transition quickness. He could be a liability on third downs versus speedy running backs in college. He has the athleticism to become adequate in this area, but he needs more reps.
Here's a highlight reel constructed by the Full Ride video team. Watching this video, it becomes obvious that McMillan is a competitive 'backer with a high motor.
His explosive movement skills, solid blitzing ability off the edge and speed are displayed on several plays.
This is an interesting clip of McMillan on the field, as most of it shows him playing running back. However, at 0:36, he makes a play that is a microcosm of who he is as a linebacker.
Watch as McMillan quickly reads the play, locks his eyes onto the running back and shoots the gap to make the tackle at the line of scrimmage.
This is a play that makes it easy to see why he has 38 tackles for loss since 2011.
If he can carefully watch his weight, McMillan will be an All-Conference inside/middle linebacker.
He will likely play right away as a true freshman, especially as a run-down 'backer. McMillan will develop into a solid pass-defender in zone coverage, but do not expect him ever to be a great man-to-man coverage linebacker.
He is expected to sign with Ohio State, according to the majority of the experts at 247Sports.