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October 17, 2011
Ellis McCarthy played with his team Thursday night, took his visit to Oregon this past weekend and then on Monday was presented with his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey during a ceremony at his high school.
It has been a hectic few days for McCarthy, a five-star defensive tackle from Monrovia, Calif., who not only made news by receiving his Army jersey but also on the recruiting front when he named the Ducks his new favorite.
First, though, McCarthy said he is thrilled to get the opportunity to show why he's rated so high by Rivals.com and he's looking forward to the week of competition in San Antonio to cement himself as one of the nation's top defensive linemen.
Since he's being recruited at defensive tackle and defensive end the 6-foot-5, 311-pound prospect would like an opportunity to play both during Army week. He wants to show his skills all across the defensive line.
"It's a really big honor," McCarthy said. "I'm really excited to be invited to the game and be able to play against some of the best players in the country.
"It's going to be really exciting for everyone to see why I'm No. 2 in the nation at my position so I'll try to prove myself there. It's very important to prove myself because people might ask why I'm up there and I shouldn't be No. 2 so it will be exciting to show everybody what I can do."
McCarthy, No. 10 overall in the 2012 class and first in the California state rankings by Rivals.com, also made big news on the recruiting front Monday when he named Oregon the new leader in his recruitment after he visited Eugene this past weekend.
Everything at Oregon seemed to impress McCarthy, who doesn't plan to make his commitment until December or January, and the Ducks could be tough to beat moving forward.
"It was exciting," McCarthy said. "I'm glad I got to talk to the coaches more and I got to meet the players and they showed me around. Where it stands, I really like them, so they've moved to the top.
"They don't spare any expense on their players, on anything, for academics and athletics. They spend whatever money they need to for their players to get better and to be in better shape and to stay healthy."
Oregon's facilities are widely accepted as one of the best in the country and McCarthy said they did play a big factor in his decision to move the Ducks to the top of his list. The coaches and players also made an impact on him and so did the overall environment in Eugene.
It was a place he could see himself playing college football and even he admitted a little surprise that he was so impressed by the place.
"They have everything," McCarthy said. "They have underwater treadmills and ice baths and everything a player would need to get better. The weight room is amazing. The whole place is just really nice.
"It did kind of surprise me after the visit that they moved up to No. 1. It just really impressed me a lot."
Other schools will have a chance to surpass Oregon over the next few months as McCarthy figures out when he can take his other visits.
The five-star said he doesn't have any dates planned yet but that he's expecting to take official visits to USC, Washington, Florida and Cal. Other schools remain involved in his recruitment but that's where McCarthy wants to take his official trips.
McCarthy said he could have his decision made as early as December or he could wait to January, possibly announcing his pledge at the Army game.
That's going to be another busy week though as the Monrovia, Calif., standout tries to prove he's worthy of such a lofty ranking.