Senior, five-star recruit Raekwon McMillan put on his 2014 Under-Armour All-American football jersey during a ceremony at Liberty County High School Friday morning.
The presentation was part of the American Family Insurance Company’s 2014 Selection tour when UA representatives will visit 80 high schools in the next few weeks.
More than 90 of the nation’s premiere football players have been selected by ESPN to play in the 2014 Under-Armour game, UA spokesperson Scott Martin said during the ceremony. Martin then reached down and unfolded a new jersey and addressed the students and faculty who gathered to honor their classmate and student.
“We are proud to announce that all the UA All-Americans will be presented with a game jersey …and today we are honored to present Raekwon McMillan with his honorary jersey…a symbol of all your hard work and dedication in the classroom, the community and the football field,” Martin said.
The 2014 game will be played at 4 p.m. Jan. 2 in St. Petersburg, Fla., and televised on ESPN.
McMillan stood up next to his mother, Monica Washington, and put on the jersey as the crowd erupted. His father, Rafael Washington, wasn’t able to attend.
“I want to thank everybody who came out today. I want to thank my mom, my parents, the coaches, everyone here at the school and I would also like to thank God,” he said.
McMillan was a freshman when he started playing varsity football and he tallied 49 tackles that season. After off-season, weight-room work, he also saw offense play, getting 64 yards on 18 carries his sophomore year. And he also nearly doubled his defensive stats, getting 97 total tackles, 16 for loss of yards, his first sack for loss of seven yards and recorded an interception.
He spent the next spring and summer at camps and started getting looks from scouts and recruiters. He was the only player from Georgia selected to the 247Sports Class of 2014 All-American Team his sophomore year and made First Team All-American for Maxpreps’ 2011 U.S. Air Force Sophomore All-American Football Team.
Before his junior season even started, McMillan had offers from several Division I schools and after another stellar season the number of offers grew. As a junior he rushed for 316 yards on 49 carries for 9 touchdowns. Defensively, he tallied 5 pancake blocks, 128 solo tackles, 23 assists and 7 sacks for a total loss of 48 yards.
This year, as of Friday, McMillan has rushed for 475 yards on 55 carries for 8 touchdowns and has caught 3 passes for 74 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has 13 pancake blocks, 142 total tackles, 31 for losses and 7 sacks for a total loss of 42 yards.
The Panthers were set to play Friday for post-season seeding so his numbers could continue to add up this season.
“It means a lot to me … ever since my freshman year I worked hard to get to where I am today and it’s a great achievement,” McMillan said.
Friday he said he’ll probably announce what school he’ll attend in December. He has said his top five, not in any order, are Ohio State, Georgia, Alabama, Clemson and Florida.
Earlier he had said he’ll announce at the All-American game, but now says he hopes to be enrolled at college by Jan. 1.
Panther head coach Kirk Warner said McMillan earned this privilege, but others helped.
“I feel truly blessed to have been the head coach to Raekwon for the past four years,” he said. “His success has definitely been a team and community effort. His mom has done an outstanding job in raising him and our coaching staff has done an amazing job in getting him to where he is supposed to be and getting exposure. Our administration has helped us tremendously in getting him to accomplish his academic goals.
“I just can’t say enough of what it has meant to me to coach this young man and whoever gets him on that dotted line will not only get a great football player but a great person.”