Junior defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy took to Twitter Tuesday night to announce that he'll forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.
McCarthy, who was a five-star recruit out of high school, played both nose tackle and defensive end during his time as a Bruin. This year, he backed up Kenneth Clark and Eddie Vanderdoes on the interior of the defensive line. It's a bit of a surprise move, as McCarthy has not been a full-time starter at any point in his UCLA career, but there have been rumblings for a while that this could happen.
McCarthy was plagued by lower leg injuries during his first two years at UCLA, but this past season was mostly healthy as he recorded 20 total tackles to go along with three sacks. He had six total sacks in his UCLA career, and 58 total tackles.
McCarthy, who was the crown jewel of Jim Mora's first class in Westwood, is the first of Mora's recruits to leave UCLA early for the NFL, and almost certainly will not be the last.
The departure of McCarthy does set up some depth question marks for next season. Vanderdoes and Clark will start, clearly, but now UCLA will have to replace both Owamagbe Odighizuwa, who's graduating, and McCarthy, each of whom was a key cog in the rotation. Ainuu Taua, who redshirted this past year, could see his role increase a great deal next year with McCarthy's departure, as could Matt Dickerson, who played sparingly.
Ellis McCarthy Declares For Draft
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