ESPN Watch List linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty Co.) is not new to recruiting. The junior has been a top target since his sophomore year. He has seen a long list of coaches come by his high school to check on him and let him know that he is a wanted man. He has returned the favor, visiting several of the 15 schools that have offered.
But one recent visit stands out -- the one he took to Georgia just one day ago.
"This was the best visit that I have ever taken to any college,” McMillan said of his Saturday stop in Athens, Ga. “It feels like I am at home when I am at Georgia. Everybody around there on campus knows my face, so in a way it feels like I am a celebrity when I am at Georgia. I just liked the game atmosphere, getting to meet some of the players and spending time with Coach Mark Richt and Coach [Kirk] Olivadotti.”
Olivadotti is the inside linebackers coach at Georgia whose affable manner attracts many recruits.
"My relationship with Coach Richt and Coach Olivadotti is really strong,” McMillan said. “We have that uncle-to-nephew type relationship right now, so I am trying to get to that father-son relationship level. I talked with Coach [Todd] Grantham a little bit, but he was really focused on the game so I did not talk to him too much."
Richt stepped in for his distracted defensive coordinator.
“For Mark Richt to take the time out of his game day to talk to me in person in his office is really special,” McMillan said. “We did not talk about recruiting; we just got to know each other and talked about life in general. That is really important to me because I want to build a great relationship with the head coach of the school I go to."
As for where McMillan will wind up, visits like the one to Athens will determine his eventual destination.
"Georgia and Ohio State are tied at the top, but after I make my visit to Ohio State I will have a No. 1 and a No. 2,” he said. “Georgia is my home-state school and I get along with the guys there very well, and I could picture them as teammates. Ohio State has one of the top-notch coaches in the NCAA in Urban Meyer, so I think he will bring a national championship there in the next few years and I could be a part of that."
After Georgia and Ohio State, McMillan lists Clemson, Alabama and USC among his leaders.
Teammates -- both those he plays with now and those he might play with eventually -- will also be a big factor in McMillan’s decision. Some of the prospects already committed to Georgia know that and targeted him early in the process -- and again on his visit.
"I got to hang out with my boy Nick Glass (Atlanta/St. Pius X) and also Demarre Kitt (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) and Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek),” McMillan said. “They said they really need a big linebacker like me in their class and that I could be the rock of the defense at Georgia. It was a blessing to be able to take some of my high school teammates up there and show them the type of campus and facilities they could be at if they work hard. They got to see what it feels like to be a recruit and they were amazed with how well they treat you at Georgia."
Aside from the celebrity treatment, the hard-hitting linebacker saw a Georgia defense that did not have its best outing of the season.
"The defense did not play up to par, but the offense picked up the slack,” McMillan said. “Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall had great games. I am sure they will be ready for South Carolina next week though."
McMillan will attend next weekend's game and later plans to visit Clemson on Oct. 20 for the game against Virginia Tech. He'll return to Georgia on Nov. 3, when the Bulldogs take on Ole Miss.
Radi Nabulsi contributed to this story.