This past weekend didn't just mark the first time wide receiver and three-sport star Tetairoa McMillan visited USC. It was the first time the 6-foot-3, 185-pound, four-star prospect had been on any college campus.
"It was a great experience," McMillan said of Saturday's unofficial visit to USC, a trip that overlapped a big official visit recruiting weekend for the Trojans. "The whole dead period thing was a long wait. I'm just glad I got to experience the environment at 'SC and be surrounded by the coaching staff and the players."
McMillan said that two things will stick with him in the weeks and months following the visit.
"Definitely the tradition," McMillan said. "They're really heavy on the tradition and their alumni. They run deep. Also, I get to play volleyball at the next level if I go over there. That's always a plus."
McMillan has the ability to play football and volleyball at a high level in college, and could probably play basketball as well if he focused on that sport. His frame and athleticism are the first things that jump out when watching him on a football field. His leaping ability means virtually no pass is uncatchable for him and his body control allows him to pull in what would be difficult catches.
The visit to USC sets off a busy month of June for McMillan, who is already hearing the clock ticking on his recruitment as his senior season and the December signing day approach. He's planning to enroll early and to announce a decision before his season starts, so he knows he needs to deal with the difficult of taking multiple visits and sorting through his plentiful options on an advanced timetable due to the extended dead period.
McMillan said he just finished high school volleyball and will soon start club volleyball, along with summer football practices.
"It's a tight squeeze packing things into this one month," McMillan said. "It's all over the place and I still want to enjoy my summer at the same time."
For USC, getting that first visit and being able to set the table could be a big advantage, especially if the Trojans get another opportunity on the backside.
"I was going in with an open mindset, being open to anything," McMillan said of the first trip. "It was my first experience on any college campus, so I took all the information and all the stuff they gave me, and it's a good way to compare it to all the other visits that I take. I definitely think they set a good first impression on me."
From here, McMillan will take an official visit to Arizona this coming weekend, along with high school teammates Noah Fifita and Keyan Burnett. Fifita is a three-star quarterback committed to Arizona, while Burnett is a four-star tight end and a USC commit going along with his teammates. The weekend after that, McMillan will be on an official visit to Oregon.
It's unlikely that this past weekend was the last time McMillan will be on the USC campus.
"I might set up an official late sometime because coach Helton said he wants me to leave an official visit open for him, so we'll see how that goes," McMillan said.
USC holds a commitment from wide receiver Kevin Green (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany) and is in the mix for a number of national prospects at the position. But after landing just one of four elite in-state wide receivers in the 2021 class, the Trojans would likely do just fine to stay much closer to home at the position in this 2022 class, with Green, McMillan and fellow four-star prospect C.J. Williams (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) all top targets.
There is time and opportunity for other programs to position themselves well for McMillan. He mentioned Stanford and UCLA as two programs that would provide similar opportunities to USC in the ability to play both football and volleyball at the next level. And clearly Oregon and Arizona will be options. But at this point it seems to be so far, so good for USC.
"It was just a great experience," McMillan said of the USC visit. "They're great people and I love the environment, and I can definitely see myself going over there."