McCarthy spent all weekend in Columbus and was in Ohio Stadium for the Buckeyes' 31-6 win over Iowa.
"It went real well," McCarthy said of the visit. "I met with the coaches and talked to a lot of the players. I also toured the facilities and found out about the plans for the renovations for the weight room. I got a chance to go to a lot of the meetings with the players and really got a good feel for the university."
McCarthy wanted to spend as much time as possible at OSU and he arrived in Columbus along with his father Friday morning.
"Friday I just went to a lot of meetings and toured the Fisher College of Business and met with an academic counselor," he said. "And then Friday night, I got to meet with (OSU head coach Jim) Tressel in his hotel room. My father and I met him up there and he talked to us about what Ohio State had to offer and what the situation would be if I came there and how he thought I could help the program."
Tressel would have liked to receive a verbal commitment from McCarthy on the spot. But Tressel is not a pushy recruiter.
"He's so laid-back and I liked that," McCarthy said. "There wasn't any pressure. As far as the recruiting process, he basically said, ‘Take your time. Don't let it get to you. Take your visits and go somewhere that you feel comfortable.' I think that shows a lot of respect. He wants you to come play for him, but he wants what's best for you."
So, are the Buckeyes now McCarthy's leader?
"I wouldn't say they're the leader, but with the visit and how everything went, Ohio State is definitely in my top five," he said. "The visit was great – I couldn't have asked for much more. I really like Ohio State, but we'll have to see."
McCarthy has just one other official visit scheduled at this time. He will make the trip to Penn State Oct. 7-9 and will be in attendance for the OSU-PSU night game on Oct. 8.
"I'm in the process of deciding where my other visits will be," he said. "Miami (Fla.) will probably be one, as well as Florida. After that, I'm looking at Georgia Tech, Nebraska, N.C. State, South Carolina, Indiana and Minnesota."
McCarthy (6-2, 218, 4.49) recorded 163 tackles (118 solo), 13 tackles-for-loss, four sacks and five interceptions as a junior. He plays both linebacker spots in high school, but could move to strong safety in college.
"Most want me as an outside ‘backer," he said. "Ohio State is one of those schools, but they said they would put me there and put me in different positions to see where I best fit."
While on his OSU visit, McCarthy didn't get a chance to pick the brain of All-American outside linebacker A.J. Hawk. But he did get a chance to visit with the Buckeyes' "other" standout linebackers.
"I didn't talk to A.J. very much," McCarthy said. "But I talked to (Anthony) Schlegel a lot. He joked around with me a lot. I sat with him and Bobby Carpenter when we ate. A.J. was with the captains at their table and I was with the linebackers. It was really fun hanging with Schlegel and Carpenter."
McCarthy was expecting a tight defensive struggle between OSU and Iowa. A 25-point blowout was not what he had in mind.
"That was pretty impressive," he said. "I know Iowa is a good team and for Ohio State to handle them the way they did was impressive."
McCarthy is ranked as the No. 21 overall prospect in Florida by Scout.com. He is a full academic qualifier.