Tetairoa McMillan might be the generational piece that changes Arizona football's future.

Updated: Aug 17



For a program that needs a complete overhaul, Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch has started the fix. And has his guy McMillan could change the entire future for the Wildcats in the Pac-12.

This is a too early analysis. But it is a pure and strict football talent and coaching assessment. It is going to make a great story in Tucson for a lot of years. Of course, I could be wrong, but I am betting I am not.


It must start with the highest-rated recruit in the history of the University of Arizona football program, Tetairoa McMillan, to build this story. A story that was not meant to happen, but it did. And it is going to help change the future of Arizona football.


He will be a problem. A mismatch problem in the Pac-12. He runs routes with tenacity and deliberation that it is his ball. His push up the field in his routes is purposeful and puts pressure on the defender. His length is NFL style, he goes to the highest point on the ball with great leaping ability (volleyball), and has great hands. Good hips lead to good breaks that lead to great routes, and he has that. But, I wish he was faster.


It may only last a couple of years as McMillan will more than likely be a first-round NFL draft pick candidate in 2024. But Jedd Fisch and his 2022 recruiting class will have to make the best of it all.


Ok, yes I am predicting his greatness at Arizona. The football talent side is undeniable, plus his person makes me like my odds.

Tatairoa’s talent, to me, made him a top-two receiver in the country and he is possibly the best. Out of Servite High School in Orange County, California, they lost in the semi-finals of their section, not their state, and they were still a top-five team in the country. The best high school football league there is right now. Possibly the best high school league in the history of high school football. He was the best receiver in that league. That is not stretching it.


McMillan reminds me a lot of DeKaylin Zecharis Metcalf. Otherwise known as DK. I believe there are real similarities between McMillan and DK at Ole Miss. But he does not have Metcalf speed, unfortunately. With his 6-4, 185lb frame coming into Tucson, Fisch should have him near 200lbs by season start. By the time he is ready to declare, he will be that 6-4 and a half, 220lb receiver.


So, why is his skill a great story? He is a 5-Star receiver that was nabbed away from the Oregon Ducks by a one-win team that had a 20-game losing streak. There you have it. That says everything about Jedd Fisch and his recruiting message to his players. The recruiting class was the 18th-ranked class in all of college football this year. Fisch went after players and a type of person in this class.


His high school quarterback Noah Fifita, tight end Keyan Barnett, 4-star players, and 3-star linebacker Jacob Manu are in Wildcat uniforms. This is a great fit for him personally. So yes, four top recruits from the same nationally ranked high school in the same year.


All four Servite players are character kids. That fits the Fisch recruiting model.

Tatairoa will make Arizona better offensively. He will have an experienced Pac-12 quarterback in Jayden de Laura as the probable starter. His pal in high school will more than likely be the #2 or #3 QB.


This is the story of one of the top high school football players in the country from 2021 wanting to be a part of making change. Head coach Jedd Fisch is meticulously recruiting players and people to turn his program around. These are the type of players who were bought into the idea of turning an entire program around. McMillan was the keystone of that recruiting idea.


He will have the incredibly unique chance to be that player that changed the entire scope of culture for the University of Arizona’s football program. There has been only one time since the great Arizona coach Dick Tomey, had the Wildcats been a threat to win the Pac-12. That is 30 years.


To win you need great players, to build a great culture you need great people. McMillan is one of those players that can change the entire outlook in Arizona. If he is around in three years, I believe we will see one of the great Pac-12 receivers of all time. We are talking about a Rob Gronkowski type of player minus the injuries. That says a lot.


Will this translate to wins for the Wildcats? Other players need to perform, so who knows.

Servite head coach Troy Thomas said McMillan will change Arizona like he did Servite with Fifita, Barnett, and Manu.


Pac-12 defensive coordinators will have to spend time game-planning to defend Tatairoa.

The number one reason he will be the greatest receiver to ever come out of Wildcat country is he is very difficult to defend. That is the number one evaluation I put on McMillan.


Offensive coordinator Brennan Carroll and the Wildcats will need him desperately to be a real threat this year.

Youth will show and that is natural but he does have some pressure on him. He has a chance to be 'the guy' for the Arizona offense.


The entire program at Arizona is a story. They are still revered as the bottom dwellers in the conference. Maybe, but their youth will be on display this year.


We will all be able to watch Tatairoa McMillan’s growth in a power five conference. And he will probably be the key component to turning around a program the likes of the NCAA have never seen before.