Shaq Thompson is the great recruit Cal always hoped to get in this class. Ellis McCarthy is the great recruit Cal never thought they would get but secretly hoped they would.
Could the Bears end up with both?
It's certainly looking good after McCarthy put on a Cal hat at the Army All-American Game. However, there's still work that needs to be done to lock him up. That slacker Tosh Lupoi will really need to get out of bed and stop eating all that Domino's to make sure the Monrovia product heads up north.
Let's welcome Ellis to Cal, and hope he likes what he sees when he heads up here at the end of the month! GO BEARS!
McCarthy has been considered a heavy USC favorite for quite some time. The fact that he put on the Cal hat means that Tosh has really been working his magic, or perhaps other top recruits (Cal commits, silents or leans, draw your conclusions to whom the latter two categories might consist of) at the Army All-American game have helped make McCarthy think this would be a fun group to be a part of in college.
Unlike Payton and Thompson, McCarthy's recruitment might not be over. A soft verbal means that McCarthy will still be doing visits (and his official will be January 27th to Cal) and his dad seems to indicate that he hasn't made his final decision. He's put on a Cal hat, but McCarthy is still probably the primary target for USC defensive coordinator Ed Orgeron, who has been known to pursue players long beyond their verbals to other schools (and has sometimes succeeded through his nefarious ways). UCLA is also probably in the mix.
However, Jim McGill's story seems to indicate his family stands behind his decision. This'll be Tosh's biggest victory. To go toe-to-toe with Coach O and triumph is a positive sign for how Cal football recruiting is going.
Here is his junior tape. I repeat. This is McCarthy's junior tape.
At 6'5, 311 pounds, McCarthy has the look of a prototypical three technique defensive tackle that still possesses outstanding athleticism to rush the QB. He's a guy that can occupy two offensive linemen with ease and dominate a lot of one-on-one matchups with college lineman; pair him with a nose tackle like Aaron Tipoti or Vei Moala, and you could see a 4-3 defensive front that really gives defensive lineman fits on the interior. He's also versatile enough to play as a 3-4 defensive end. Considering Pendergast has been utilizing multiple fronts, I expect he'll find the best possible fit for McCarthy once he's ready to be an every-down lineman.
Here are the recruiting rankings for McCarthy.
- Rivals: 17th best overall recruit, 2nd best defensive tackle overall, 2nd best recruit in California
- 247Sports: 31st best overall recruit, 4th best defensive tackle, 5th best recruit in California
ESPN: 43rd in ESPNU 150, 4th best defensive tackle, 5th best recruit in California
- Scout: 33rd best overall recruit, 3rd best defensive tackle