Ellis McCarthy, one of the nation's top defensive tackles, has decommitted from the California Golden Bears and committed to the UCLA Bruins, per Bruins Nation. McCarthy is a star for Monrovia (Calif.) High. The move was a reaction to Cal defensive line coach and ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi leaving the Bears for the Washington Huskies. This is a major pickup for UCLA, which has been quite hot on the recruiting trail of late.
At 6'5" and 315 pounds, McCarthy is a mountain of a man. McCarthy is pretty quick, for his size. He definitely doesn't lumber like many men this size in high school. And again, for his size, McCarthy shows good lateral quickness. He destroys the competition in high school, often beating double teams.
But what the video doesn't show much of is McCarthy playing in tight spaces. He seems very comfortable chasing down quarterbacks and pursuing. Without seeing more, it's tough to tell how he handles playing in a phonebooth. And he does need to play lower, otherwise that great length and size will become a curse, not a blessing.
Most of this stuff is easily correctable with some coaching at the next level. McCarthy has ideal tools for someone playing the defensive tackle position. Many see him as a nose guard, but I think he could easily excel playing the role of a penetrating 3-technique tackle.
McCarthy is rated four of five-stars, depending on the service. And he is universally regarded as one of the top players in the country at his position. His commitment to UCLA, however, is still soft at this point.
McCarthy is UCLA's 27th commitment of the 2012 cycle. The Bruins are expected to have significant attrition, which is customary with a new head coach coming aboard.
For more on UCLA recruiting, visit Bruins Nation.
For more on the Cal reaction, visit California Golden Blogs.