5-foot-10 / 200 pounds
Norco (CA) / Norco
McCarthy has appeared in 26 of the past 27 games for the Blue Devils over the last two seasons including four starting calls in 2013. In 2014 he appeared in all 13 games and recorded 19 tackles and played a total of 358 snaps.
He’s listed as the top reserve behind Jeremy Cash as the Strike Safety. He’s played in 28 games in his career, and has played for four seasons due to a medical hardship waiver gained in 2012. In addition to experience, McCarthy is also one of the strongest defensive back on the roster, leading the DBs in both bench press and power clean lift.
We expect McCarthy to see another 300 or so snaps in relief of Cash, but also working hard to hold off challenges for minutes from players like Edwards, Kite, and Carter. The season could be McCarthy’s last depending on how things progress both for he and the rest of the depth chart. He’s slotted as the backup behind Jeremy Cash, which means the number of available snaps is directly related to Cash’s health and durability. And, eligibility wise, he’s a year ahead of several sophomore safeties who will be pushing hard to move up the depth chart in a year.
How He Arrived In Durham
McCarthy chose Duke over interest from North Carolina and Hawaii. He somewhat surprised the Blue Devil coaching staff when he committed in early December.
"Coach (David) Cutcliffe and I had a meeting at nine on Sunday morning. We sat down and he said they were offering me a scholarship, and I decided I liked it so much that I wanted to commit. The deciding actor was the people. It is a family-oriented team."
McCarthy said that Coach Cutcliffe did not appear to be expecting an immediate commitment from him, but says that the Duke coaching staff was extremely thrilled to hear that he was joining the program.
"Coach Cut was definitely surprised when I committed, but the entire coaching staff was really happy. It was welcome to the family and bright smiles and hugs. It was real good."
High School Highlights
Three-year letterman at Norco Senior under coach Todd Gerhart ... helped Norco to a three-year record of 26-10 with three state playoff appearances and one league championship ... as a senior, carded 72 tackles, six tackles for loss and 23 PBUs en route to earning first team All-CIF honors ... had 52 tackles, four PBUs and one INT as a junior as Norco went 9-3 and finished second in the Big VIII League standings ... [info from this last section gathered from GoDuke.com]