By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
MONROVIA – Ellis McCarthy can count himself among the elite high school football players in the country.
It’s not as if the 6-foot-5, 311-pound defensive lineman hasn’t played like one of the best, but that status became official during a press conference Monday morning when McCarthy was officially invited to play in January’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.
In front of family, friends, teammates and Monrovia football coach Ryan Maddox, McCarthy was presented with an All-American jersey during the U.S. Army’s Selection Tour that culminates with the game televised live on NBC.
The selection tour, which travels to more than 180 high schools to officially announce each All-American athlete, continues today at noon at Muir High School, where four-star recruit Kevon Seymour will receive his jersey
It’s believed to be the first time the San Gabriel Valley has produced two U.S. Army All-Americans the same year. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl has produced 49 NFL first rounders, including seven Super Bowl champions, 30 Pro Bowl selections and five Rookies of the Year. It’s also produced a Heisman Trophy winner in Florida’s Tim Tebow.
McCarthy’s handled the attention like a veteran, remaining humble throughout the whirlwind process, and it’s that demeanor that makes him arguably the most coveted recruit in the nation.
“That’s what everybody says, and it’s nice to see that,” Maddox said. “From the coaches to the media to everybody that talks to Ellis, he remains humble. It speaks of his family upbringing and the great job his parents have done raising him.
“It’s good to see, because it can quickly go the other way with a lot of kids. They don’t know how to handle newfound success and fame, and it kind of goes to their head, but Ellis has managed to keep an even keel, and he hasn’t changed as a person.”
Maddox also was invited to San Antonio, where he’ll take part in the U.S. Army Coaches Academy, designed for 100 of the nation’s top high school coaches and featuring NFL and NCAA clinicians.
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