DAN McCARTHY, S, 6'2, 195, 4.48, YOUNGSTOWN CARDINAL MOONEY, OHIO:
Talk about a ball player. Dan McCarthy is another great one out of the great Cardinal Mooney program, and he happens to play two very important positions — quarterback and safety. McCarthy, who operates a powerful rushing attack at Cardinal Mooney, was part of a great state championship team last season as he rushed for 1,921 yards and 21 touchdowns, while also throwing for 780 yards and eight touchdowns. McCarthy doubles as the free safety and averaged eight tackles per game to go with two interceptions.
However, what is most impressive about McCarthy is his leadership ability and his competitive play. He is extremely talented, but he plays with tremendous passion and fire in his belly and looks like he perfect example of what a college safety should be.
Playing at Cardinal Mooney, McCarthy is used to grabbing tons of local attention. But when it comes on a national level he is a bit surprised when people talk about him being a national recruit.
"That is truly an honor when you take into consideration all the great athletes from all over the country," said McCarthy. "It is great to be thought of with some of the best players in the country. It is great to know that all the hard work is paying off and to know people think that highly of me."
McCarthy is a quarterback/safety that loves contact, but it is his speed and athletic ability that makes him such a special prospect.
"I think one of my strengths is that I am very versatile," said McCarthy. "If I need to, I love to come up and hit somebody. If I need to I can drop back in coverage, and I feel that I am athletic enough to use my speed to do what I need to do."
McCarthy joins fellow celebrated teammates Brandon Beachum, Michael Zordich and Taylor Hill in that he plays two positions and at the prep level. They are all equally as good on both sides of the ball. However, for McCarthy the combination of quarterback and safety can be a tough.
"Sometimes it is rough because this past year was my first year to play quarterback," said McCarthy. "I was really going through a lot trying to learn how to play quarterback. Coach Ron Stoops is our defensive coordinator and he runs a very similar defense as Oklahoma, so football for us is in a whole different class with all the learning that we have to do."
Ron Stoops is another celebrated Stoops brother out of Youngstown. Ron Stoops has had opportunities to jump to the collegiate ranks, but has chosen to coach where his father, Ron Sr., started the Stoops' legacy of great defensive coaches.
So what is it like to play for a Stoops brother in high school?
"He is the best of the best," said McCarthy. "He is a phenomenal coach. I am sure he can coach in college, but we are very grateful that he spends his time with us. He is a great help to all of us and he takes us to another level on defense. We are running everything very much like what Oklahoma does on defense. It is very similar."
McCarthy is being recruited mostly as a safety, but a few schools have talked to him about playing quarterback and even wide receiver.
"I really don't care where I play, but I think safety is probably the best spot for me," said MaCarthy. "I have learned a lot about the position and have played in zone coverage and also been put in man coverage and done well in both."
McCarthy has received offers from Oklahoma , Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, LSU, Stanford, Iowa, Penn State, Indiana and Wisconsin plus a few others at this point. But right now, McCarthy is just enjoying the process.
"I am still keeping an open mind and really don't have a top five or six really, "said McCarthy. "I am still trying to get information on all these programs and schools. So right now I am just taking in as much information as I can."
What are his thoughts on Oklahoma?
"I am really excited about Oklahoma," said McCarthy. "I think that I would fit well into their schemes because of the type of defense that we run here at Mooney. I think I would be a good fit there. I have to get down there sometime and check it out."
Both Beachum and Zordich mentioned that a trip might be in the works where all four prospects from Cardinal Mooney take a road trop to Norman. And that appears to still be a possibility.
"We are all trying to figure something out and see if we can get something going where we can all get down there," said McCarthy. "We have made some trips together to Pittsburgh, Penn State and Michigan, and Zordich and I went to Ohio State and Notre Dame. We talk about how it would be pretty cool to all go to the same school. It may be a crazy thought to think that could work out, but there it really could. We didn't think we would be in this position back during our freshman year when we all starting and playing together, but we are very grateful how things have turned out. It wouldn't be farfetched or out of the question that we could wind up at Oklahoma. If that is where we all felt was the best fit for all of us, then Oklahoma would be a great place to play college football."
Does the fact that McCarthy would go from a Stoops in high school to a Stoops in college play any kind of role in his decision making process?
"That definitely plays a role," said McCarthy. "Just to know that here is a guy who has a background similar to us, has the same feel for the game as we do and has now succeeded in his career is definitely a plus for us. He would be a great coach to play for and it would be an honor to play for him."
McCarthy has qualified.