For the fifth time in seven recruiting cycles, Virginia has secured a commitment from the No. 1 player in the class, with the Wahoos continuing their recent hot streak by snagging top-ranked junior Brendan Millon, who announced on Tuesday night.
The McDonogh (Md.) and Team 91 Maryland attackman follows in the footsteps of his older brother McCabe, IL's No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2023, and will play at least two years in Charlottesville with him. Millon chose Virginia after also strongly considering Maryland, Notre Dame and Johns Hopkins.
This spring, the pair helped lead the Eagles to a second-consecutive MIAA championship as the younger Millon upped his game significantly and showed his versatility with McCabe injured for the first half of the season. In the MIAA championship game, Brendan was named the MVP after a five-goal, one-assist showing in a 14-5 romp of Calvert Hall (Md.), finishing the year with a whopping 47 goals and 33 helpers.
Viewed as more of an off-ball weapon (whereas McCabe is an athletic quarterback type), Brendan thrived as a ball-carrier this season and showed tremendous confidence both with and without the ball. A year prior, the younger Millon missed all but four games as a freshman before he returned for the last four games and dropped 18 points en route the sibling duo's first of two championships together.
“He can do whatever you ask of him,” said an offensive coordinator at a NCAA Tournament program leading up to IL's rankings release. “If you watched him last fall, you left the field feeling that he could finish the ball every way possible with both hands. This summer, you saw him feed as well as anyone. He’s so multi-dimensional in that he can play any role within an attack unit and will elevate his [college] team regardless of where he winds up.”
While many prognosticators long felt that Millon's recruitment would come down to Virginia or Maryland (the in-state power and his mom's alma mater), Brendan was very open during his recruitment. He wasn't always considered a lean to either school until realizing that Charlottesville was where he wanted to spend the next four years. Visits to Notre Dame and Hopkins were eye-opening. However, his familiarity, education, the Wahoos' championship success and their soon-to-be renovated facilities were among the many factors in Millon's decision.
"The academics have always been a very important thing for me. At a hard school like McDonogh, I've had to work very hard for the grades I got, so I wanted to go somewhere where all of that would be worth it," Millon told IL on Tuesday. "Another thing is the new lacrosse facilities that are being built — they have some unreal things being built specifically for lacrosse. Also, after being there more than other schools because my brother goes there, I was able to get a better feel for the campus environment, and overall I loved it so much. Last but certainly not least is their national championship history and their history of winning."
On the field, Virginia's track record speaks for itself in so many ways. With yet another top-ranked recruit incoming, as well as a 2025 recruiting class that has skyrocketed up IL's rankings as of late, a national championship, of course, remains the goal and is very much obtainable, even if their ACC cohorts continue to thrive on the recruiting trail as well.
-Inside Lacrosse, Ty Xanders