With five final schools on his mind, five-star Hinesville (Ga.) Liberty County linebacker Raekwon McMillan will announce his decision on around 12:30 p.m. ET Monday on Rivals.com and NBC Sports Network's SportsDash with Yahoo Sports. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound McMillan is down to a list that includes a who's-who of college football: Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, Auburn and Georgia.
Like most five-star prospects, McMillan burst onto the scene early in his high school career. By the time he entered his junior year he had already been among the top performers at the 2012 Rivals Five-Star Challenge, a rarity for an underclassman, and collected offers from more than 30 programs around the country.
He was a rising junior when Georgia, Ole Miss and South Carolina were the first to offer, but it wasn't long after that he started to be interested in the Buckeyes. After taking over at OSU, head coach Urban Meyer wanted to reach back into South Georgia, where he had success while coaching at Florida.
McMillan was immediately receptive.
"It doesn't matter if it's north, south, east, or west; I'm going where the best football is being played," he told Rivals.com in March 2012. "I like to dress nice. Who knows, maybe I'm going to bring some of this Georgia swagger up there to Ohio."
As that offseason moved along, schools such as Texas, Notre Dame and USC checked in on McMillan and came away impressed. His offer list grew, and so did his options. McMillan got a jumpstart on the recruiting process, visiting several schools prior to his junior year and setting his sights on Dec. 2013 as his announcement date, with five schools in mind.
"My top five is Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson, Alabama and USC," McMillan told Rivals in Sept. 2012. "That's just kind of a rough list. It could change."
And change it did, but only slightly. After a successful junior season McMillan started to focus in on a few schools, naming a top five that included Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Florida.
That list remained virtually unchanged for most of 2013. It wasn't until the Gators' disastrous season, combined with the surprise year Auburn turned in, that McMillan changed his mind and added the Tigers to the fold last month.
McMillan really starting zeroing in on a decision once his senior year began. He opened the 2013 season with a visit to Clemson for the Tigers victory over Georgia. After that trip it really sounded like the Tigers made a move and have stayed in the mix ever since.
"They really made me feel like I'm wanted at Clemson," he said after the trip. "Every time I come up there, they say they need me. Clemson has been in the running since I was a freshman, and they've stayed in the mix ever since."
After Clemson came an official visit to Georgia, where it appeared that the one-time favorite made a move.
"I believe Georgia jumped into the mix," McMillan said in October. "The whole time I've been just waiting for a reason to stay in state and just waiting for Georgia to make me feel like I need to stay in state."
But the buzz surrounding Georgia didn't last long. He later visited Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson and then Auburn for official visits. The Buckeyes are believed to have the top spot, with Clemson and Alabama right behind them. In his last recruiting interview prior to shutting it down, McMillan gushed about Alabama. But he also said he's not afraid to go far from home if that's the right decision for him.
"My mom and my dad, they're OK with it," he said of leaving the Southeast for school. "But I have two little brothers at home, and I'd love to see their smiling faces," McMillan said. "If it takes going 10 hours away to fulfill my dreams, then that's what I'll do; but if I feel like I can stay two hours from home and go to Florida, then that's what I'll do. Whichever decision is best for me, my mom wants me to make."
In the past week McMillan has hosted coaches from several schools for in-home visits; Clemson's Dabo Swinney and Alabama's Nick Saban visited first, followed by Auburn coach Gus Malzahn on Saturday and Meyer on Sunday.
Now, with his decision set to come, McMillan is weighing his final options. Will he stay close to home and his family that includes two young brothers? Will he chase championships in the SEC, or does he have faith that the Buckeyes or Tigers will have their crack at titles in the Big 10 or ACC? All indications are that McMillan won't make a final decision until Sunday night, and the recruiting world will learn of that call Monday.