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HINESVILLE, Ga. - Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has built his reputation as arguably the best closer in college football on the recruiting trail. On Monday afternoon, he added yet another big-time prospect to his recruiting resume as five-star Hinesville (Ga.) Liberty County linebacker Raekwon McMillan chose the Buckeyes at a ceremony at his high school.
"There was just something special about Ohio State," McMillan said. "Just on all of the visits and all of the talks with coach Meyer. I built a special bond with Ohio State."
The 6-foot-2, 241-pound McMillan chose Ohio State over a group of finalists that included Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, and Georgia. McMillan is commitment No. 18 for Ohio State in the 2014 recruiting class as the Buckeyes entered the day Monday with the No. 7 ranked class.
"It's The Ohio State University," McMillan said. "The people, the tradition, the excellence, it speaks for itself, man. Every time I visited the campus it was great. The atmosphere is the best I've ever seen in my life."
While McMillan's commitment to Ohio State on Monday did not come as a huge surprise, things had tightened up quite a bit down the stretch as Alabama made a big run late in the process and Clemson never went away after recruiting McMillan hard for nearly two years.
"I don't want to say anything bad about any other school because they are all great," he said. "I could have picked either one."
Ohio State was considered the early leader for McMillan during the process but as things progressed into the football season, McMillan became much less vocal when it came to tipping his hand about leaders. Even so, the Buckeyes were always considered a major factor for the physical linebacker prospect and with Meyer landing the last in-home visit on Sunday night, the Buckeyes were able to fend off the SEC and ACC powers to land his pledge.
"Alabama had some of the greatest football facilities in the world," McMillan explained. "They might have strong points in one area but they might have weak points in another area. One thing I liked about Ohio State is that, overall, the whole school fits me so perfectly. There's no real weak points at Ohio State and that's what I liked."
When asked what Ohio State is getting with his commitment, McMillan kept it short and sweet.
"They're getting an Ohio State guy," he said.
McMillan is rated the No. 19 overall prospect in the nation by Rivals.com and is considered the top inside linebacker prospect in the country and the top prospect, regardless of position, in the state of Georgia for the 2014 recruiting class. McMillan will participate in the Under Armour All-American game in early January before starting classes at Ohio State on January 6th.