Recruiting: Notre Dame Catches Attention Of Pennsylvania Safety

Brian Smith

While the Notre Dame rovers are often considered rovers, the entire rover depth chart is comprised of prep safeties. Hence, the 4-2-5. Notre Dame is once again looking to add to its rover depth chart with talented prep safeties, that is why the Irish staff offered Canonsburg (Pa.) Peters Township standout Donovan McMillon.

It's becoming more and more rare to see true dual-sport athletes nowadays. It’s one sport, all-in. That’s not the case for McMillon. The talented safety prospect already earned several college football scholarship offers including Notre Dame, Michigan, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Louisville. 

That’s not the only sport where McMillon excels. He's also a standout on the mat.

“I’m 32-2 right now,” McMillon said of his wrestling record. “I’m ranked fifth in the state.”

McMillon wrestles at the 184-pound weight limit, similar to what he weighed last season while on the gridiron. Not much has changed for McMillon’s weight.

“I am 6-2, 185-pounds.” 

His combination of height and length have made him a prime commodity of late, and some of that probably has to do with the player he likes to emulate.

Tyrann Mathieu, 100-percent of the time,” he answered when asked which player he patterned his game after. Mathieu plays in the slot, as well as in the deep secondary. McMillon has done much of the same for Peters Township.

“We play man coverage seven, maybe eight out of ten plays. I play safety-nickel. I cover in the slot, but sometimes I drop into the secondary.”

McMillon’s versatility actually has college football programs discussing him playing the nickel-slot position. Each program provides a different name for the position, but in the end, it’s a safety that sometimes plays in the box like a traditional linebacker, or the player needs to morph into a cornerback and cover one-on-one against a quick slot wide receiver. Neither is an easy task.

“Teams have actually been talking to me about playing nickel,” McMillon stated matter of factly. “Most colleges have looked at me for being a nickel.”

As for McMillon’s future position, he will probably play more than one. As for his college choice, he’s not yet narrowed it down. He will soon, however, and hopes to make a decision at the appropriate time.

“My parents and I have discussed that (decision time frame). If I find a place during a visit, I could commit.” McMillon said. He also admitted that he was not planning on any specific date like so many other prospects try to do.

“If I am not completely sure, I’ll make my decision in January,” McMillon explained. He also noted that coming up with a top-10 was also a goal as he looks to work towards a decision.

While he’s looking at the recruiting process from a big-picture point of view, he hopes to make his selection before the start of his senior season. For now, McMillon said that Notre Dame, Michigan, Cincinnati, Purdue, Virginia Tech and Louisville were the programs that will receive unofficial visits after his wrestling season concludes in roughly a month.

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea and graduate assistant Nick Lezynski are recruiting McMillon for the Irish. McMillon is certainly high on Notre Dame, but it’s early. He could go to any number of programs. The upcoming unofficial visit tour will be a very important part of his college decision. As for making that decision, McMillon made a profound statement about his impending decision.

“A place I am surrounded by great people,” he said confidently of one of his selection criterias. Such a statement is why so many schools are recruiting McMillon. He’s a really player, but also a very intelligent young man that thinks things through like an adult with ample experience.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Great Stuff - kid can grow into a rover