Monrovia (Calif.) defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy didn’t know exactly what to expect on his official visit to Oregon. It was his first official visit of the year and first time he had been to Eugene but it didn’t take long for the big tackle to feel right at home.
“Man, I loved it there,” McCarthy said. “I had high expectations and the trip blew them out of the water. The facilities, the academic center, the locker rooms and the treatment center were all first class and Oregon spares no expense when it comes to building up their football program. The game atmosphere was incredible and like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I’ve been to games at USC and UCLA before, but Oregon was by far the loudest stadium I’ve been in.
McCarthy said he had a great time with his hosts and the coaches, too.
“Garrick Carlyle was my host and he was cool, I got along great with all the players. I talked a lot with the defensive coaches, coach [Nick] Aliotti and coach [Jerry] Azzinaro, and they think I could play anywhere on the defensive line. They want me to learn nose guard, defensive tackle and defensive end and want me on the field. My goal is to start as a true freshman, I’ve never watched much football, I’ve always been on the field and I want to continue that in college as well.”
The feeling by many, including McCarthy’s own father, is it will be tough to get him out of Los Angeles to play his college ball. The lineman refuted that claim.
“I’m actually leaning to Oregon right now,” McCarthy said. “I fit in really well there and if I had to sign today, it would be with Oregon. Now that could be the emotion of the trip and that’s why I want to take all five of my visits. I’m going to Florida, Washington, Cal and USC, and then I’ll take an unofficial to UCLA.
“After all my visits, I should be able to weigh the pros and cons and figure out where the best fit for me is. I have no problem leaving my home and my parents really loved it at Oregon as well. They liked the academic support a lot and of course I love the football program and great facilities so Oregon is definitely my leader as of right now.”