11W Community Interview: Raekwon McMillan

By Jeremy Birmingham on December 22, 2013 at 7:00p

The 11W Community Interview is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people. You submit the questions, vote on them, and then we pass the top ones on to the biggest names in the world of Ohio State athletics.

This past Monday, on live television, the nation's top prep linebacker, Georgia's Raekwon McMillan, committed to the Buckeyes over the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers. The pledge, arguably the biggest recruiting win for Urban Meyer as the head coach of Ohio State, rounded out an incredible haul at linebacker for the Buckeyes. McMillan joins Kyle Berger, Dante Booker and Sam Hubbard, giving Ohio State a formidable foundation the middle of the defense in the future.

As acclaimed as the group is in its entirety, McMillan's addition gives the Buckeyes the nation's top linebacker, the winner of the high school Butkus Award, another Nike "The Opening" participant and a player as coveted as any in the country. The 6-foot-2, 243 pound linebacker will enroll at Ohio State in just under two weeks, giving him a better chance to make an early impact as a freshman.

Take a little time to get to know Hinesville, Georgia native and future Buckeye, Raekwon McMillan.

Raekwon, did it really come down to a game-time decision? Or were you leaning in a particular direction over the past few months? - MN Buckeye

RM: You know it came down to a couple simple things, really. It was about the feel that I had on campus; it always felt like home to me up there. It also came down to whether or not I trust this staff with my future, and I do, so that was it. 

You're a very cerebral guy who seemed to keep your recruiting very close to the vest. Can you walk us through what the final couple of weeks were like for you, and some of the biggest factors that ultimately led you to your decision? - Jedkat

RM: I knew that if I kept doing interviews leading up to the decision that I would have a numerous amount the week right before so I prevented all that by not doing them, it was a good decision for me to stay "quiet" because the decision needed to be made by me and my family. 

Where was your head at in regards to Ohio State before Urban took over? How did he sell the program to you and your family that made you want to come up to Columbus? - CalgaryBuck

RM: Coach Meyer is one of the best head coaches — if not the best head coach — in America . Fans and spectators can say what they want to say about this guy, and I know people like to speak negatively about him for some reason, but as long as he is my coach I will go to war for him.

Since you are enrolling early, what are you looking forward to most once you get to Columbus? Although you're not the first guy to "go north" to play college ball, have you experienced much backlash for not committing to a Southern school (SEC, ACC, etc.)? - TennBuckeye19

RM: I'm just ready to get acclimated to the weather, It's cold and I can't hide from that. As far as the backlash (of leaving the south,) I'm sure many people have had it before, but I am the one who has to do this for my future, it's not their choice.

Did relationships with other commits such as Dante Booker weigh heavily in your decision? - Alpo

RM: Dante doesn't really talk that much, he likes to keep to himself a bit. Actually, Jalyn Holmes was the guy that I talked to the most about Ohio State, he and I got really close. He's a great guy and we have a lot in common, but I've developed friendships with lots of players heading to lots of schools.

As one of many recent highly rated defensive players committed to the Buckeyes, how do you go about building that a “defensive identity" with your new Team? - BuckGuyFan1

RM: I'm going to go in, work hard, become a student of the game and do whatever I can to become the nucleus in the middle of the defense. (Buckeye linebacker coach) Luke Fickell always talks about being an "alpha male" at linebacker, and that is what I'll be working hard to do. I want to be someone that can make everybody else around him better.

Your mother has mentioned in interviews that you enjoy baking as a hobby. What are some of your favorite items to make, and do you just stick with baking (cakes, pies, etc.) or do you prepare other dishes as well, much like a chef?

“I'm going to.. become a student of the game and ...become the nucleus in the middle of the defense."

RM: Yeah I used to love baking, but as football has taken more and more of my time, I see it as a time killer when I could be working on my game (laughs). I do still love to make cakes for holidays, though.

What current player on the OSU roster (or incoming recruit) do you think would be the toughest challenge for you in the circle drill? - Brutus’ Left Nut

RM: I keep hearing that Ezekiel Elliott is the real deal! I'm going to love going against him everyday, playing against the best players in the country should help make me a better player.

Do you think your teammate Richard LeCounte (Class of 2017, has a Buckeye offer) will follow you to Columbus? - TDible2132

RM: I'm not pushing him to follow me anywhere, and Richard knows that. At the end of the day he will know that his big bro will take care of him if he decided to join me my senior year in college, and if he doesn't, I'll be rooting for him no matter what. 

What are you planning on majoring in at tOSU? - OregonianBuckeye

RM: I'm going to major in finance. I wanted to pick a major that would mean something in this forever changing world and something that can help make me a success if for some reason football doesn't work out.

Thank you for the questions and for all the support over the last two years. Go Bucks! I'm finally home guys!!

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