Buckeyes or Irish for McCarthy

A final decision that has always been about Ohio State and Notre Dame – before the recruiting process even began – is looming for Dan McCarthy.

A four-star safety prospect from Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, Dan McCarthy will be announcing his final decision on Monday at 5 p.m. before his team's practice. For now, though, who that final school will be remains unknown.

To him, even.

"I'm not 100 percent sure, but it's pretty much down to Ohio State and Notre Dame," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "This weekend I'm going to be with my family and friends and I'm going to sit on it and talk it over and make sure everything feels right and take it from there and make an announcement on Monday."

McCarthy plans to head to a lakeside cabin his family owns and spend the weekend thinking it all over. Then, on Monday, he will collect his thoughts and come to a final decision.

Once he does so, he can concentrate on helping Mooney try to capture a second consecutive state championship.

"Really, it's time to start focusing on my season," he said. "I think it's just time to make an announcement and go from there. That's really what I'm going for, just to start focusing on my season and kind of get it out of the way."

The recruiting process began early for McCarthy, who was offered by OSU head coach Jim Tressel on the first day he was allowed to officially offer him one year ago. He had a final five of Michigan, OSU, Notre Dame, Stanford and Penn State before narrowing it down to his final two.

With the process coming to an end, the 6-2, 190-pound McCarthy said he will look back on it fondly.

"It was definitely all a dream come true," he said. "I'm honored to be recognized by these top programs. I'm very grateful for it."

Although he has family ties to the Fighting Irish – his older brother, Kyle, plays for them – McCarthy said his family has told him they will support him, regardless of what his final decision is.

That won't make the final decision any easier to make, however.

"That's something that's been weighing on my mind this whole time, even way before the process even started," he said. "They're just two great schools and its real tough to pick one because I could see myself either way.

"They both were high on my list. The only real thing that sets them apart is where I'm going to feel the best at and where I can enjoy myself for four years and get the best opportunity."

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