Raekwon McMillan has been right at the top of the list as the nation's best prep linebacker most of the year, and today he was named the winner of the high school Butkus Award in a surprise ceremony at Liberty County High School in Hinesville, Georgia.
The Peach State star was selected over a handful of the country's most elite linebacker talents, including:
Dillon Bates, Ponte Vedra - Ponte Vedra, FL (Committed to Tennessee)
Kain Daub, Sandalwood - Jacksonville, FL (Committed to Florida State)
Michael Ferns, St. Clairsville - St. Clairsville, OH (Committed to Michigan)
Raekwon McMillan, Liberty County - Hinesville, GA (Uncommitted)
Tre Williams, St. Paul's - Mobile, AL (Committed to Auburn)
Last year's winner, Notre Dame's Jaylon Smith (the brother of Ohio State's Rod Smith,) finished his freshman season at Notre Dame with 58 tackles and one interception.
The RAEKWON MCMILLAN FILE
- Size: 6-2/242
- Pos: LB
- School: Liberty County (Hinesville, Ga)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★★
- Composite Rank: 1 (ILB)
The development from a relative unknown player from an obscure football program to the country's best linebacker didn't happen overnight. McMillan has busted his back day in and day out to become the player, and the leader he is today according to Tony Glazer, one of McMillan's assistant coaches at Liberty County.
"(Raekwon) has grown from a good football player who was quiet who led by example to a kid who was a vocal leader his senior year. (He) turned into the best linebacker in the nation because he was the ultimate team guy," Glazer said. "It was always about just trying to get in the win on Friday, and not how many tackles could he get. He's a better person then he is football player, and I love him like a son."
"I'm more proud of the man that he has become then what he has accomplished on the field. This award is a major accomplishment for him and I know he is extremely humbled and excited about winning it."
McMillan, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound inside linebacker and tackling machine, will be making his college choice on the morning of Monday, December 16th. He's recently had in-home visits from Clemson and Auburn, and this week will host Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. Saban will visit the linebacker on Thursday, and Urban Meyer will make the trip to Georgia on Sunday night, giving the Buckeyes the last shot at McMillan, who was long considered to be a Buckeye "lock," as the recruiting parlance goes. At this point, it's anyone's guess if McMillan chooses between Ohio State, Alabama and Clemson, with Auburn on the outside looking in.
McMillan will enroll at the school of his choosing in early January, so the Buckeyes, Tigers2 and the Tide will be fighting for his services as hard as they can until Monday.