FOXBORO, Mass. — With the help of a fellow Liberty County High School alum, Raekwon McMillan is happy to be back on the field.
The former Liberty County star linebacker and second-round draft pick is healthy and enjoying the first few days of camp with the New England Patriots. “I’m happy to be out here on the grass. I’m happy to be out here with my teammates,” McMillan told reporters at Patriots camp Friday. “I’m moving past last year. It’s a new year, a new everything for me. Everything in the past is gone.”
The 6-foot-2, 242-pound McMillan missed all of last year. He signed as a free agent with the Patriots in March 2021.
But he tore an anterior cruciate ligament in a knee last August, the second of his young career, and missed the season.
He’s 100 percent healthy and ready to go. McMillan credits a saying, courtesy of former LCHS basketball star Davion Mitchell.
“He always says, ‘Trust your work.’ So this whole summer, I’m thinking about trusting the whole process of rehabbing and getting back to where I want to be. I’m trusting everything that I did this summer to now so I can progress and keep going. My cleats are back in the grass.
“It’s been a long process. We’re on to new things and better things.”
Though this is his second camp with the Patriots, the now fifth-year veteran acknowledged he has much to learn. He also believes there is much he can pass on to his younger teammates.
“There’s a lot I can teach young guys about adversity,” McMillan said. “Moving forward, I want to help my teammates as much as I can. And also get knowledge from the older guys who have been here and played a lot of football.”
McMillan also finds a burst of inspiration when he walks into the Patriots locker room. He said he sees the name of Patriots standout linebacker Dont’a Hightower, currently an unsigned free agent, and added he used to watch Hightower’s highlights before his own Liberty County games.
“I always looked up to his game,” McMillan said.
“I always thought he was one of the best in the game.”
McMillan asserted he was a long way to go before he can help the Patriots on the field.
“I haven’t put on a game uniform for the Patriots,” he said. “I’m looking forward to going out there and making some plays.”
McMillan is continuing Hinesville and Liberty
McMillan is healthy and enjoying the first few days of camp with the New England Patriots after missing last year with a torn ACL.
County’s connection to the Patriots. Former Bradwell Institute star Gary Guyton played for the Pats for four seasons, and fellow BI alum Ulrick John spent a year on the roster, though he was on injured reserve. Former Bradwell star Kevin Harris also is in camp with the Patriots.
There is little doubt, though, that McMillan is glad to be back on the field.
“This is where I find my peace at,” he said. “I’m glad to have my peace back.”