Ohio State's Raekwon McMillan Had Aspirations To Play Running Back, But Always Knew He'd End Up A Linebacker

By Tim Shoemaker on September 30, 2015 at 11:15 am
Raekwon McMillan talks to the media.

Ohio State fans are well aware of the recruitment of linebacker Raekwon McMillan, the five-star prospect from Hinesville, Ga., who was the Buckeyes' crowned jewel in their 2014 recruiting class.

But what some may not know is McMillan had aspirations of playing in college on the offensive side of the ball. At least in his mind, anyway.

So on Monday, when a reporter asked McMillan about his high school days, the eyes of Ohio State's middle linebacker lit up and a giant smile flashed across his face. He finally got to reminisce on his days at running back.

"Thank you for asking," McMillan said, with that giant smile. "I forget the name of the team we played, but I had 146 [yards] and three touchdowns. The team that beat us the year before, we came back and beat them by three touchdowns my senior year."

He was always going to be a linebacker. Deep down, McMillan knew that; college coaches knew it, too. But that didn't stop coaches from telling McMillan they had interest in him playing offense at their school.

McMillan said he heard from the likes of Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern, among others about playing running back in college. It was just a ploy, though, to create interest for the five-star prospect.

Essentially, college coaches were just telling him what he wanted to hear.

“I could tell," McMillan said, laughing. "The linebacker coach would then eventually get on the phone with me."

Of course, McMillan eventually wound up at Ohio State, where he starts in the middle of a defense that ranks sixth nationally, allowing just 253.3 yards per game. The Buckeyes are also 10th in the country in scoring defense at 12.3 points allowed per game.

McMillan is happy with the choice he made. Ohio State fans are, as well.

"It’s just fun seeing those guys and I feel like I’m a blessed individual to be in the middle of it," he said. "Just great to be a part of this great defense.”

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