I got my Phil Steele College Football Preview magazine over the weekend and I’ve been flipping through it. One of the first thing I always do (after reading about My Buckeyes) is check out where a lot of the locals are slated to play.
The one that stood out the most to me is Monrovia’s Ellis McCarthy slated to start at nose tackle for UCLA. McCarthy is listed at 6-4, 330 by the magazine, which is nice size for a down lineman. BUT HERE’S MY PROBLEM … From what I saw of Big Ellis in high school, he’s not a interior d-lineman type. Things could have changed since then, but I always thought of him as more of a pass rusher with very good finesse for a dude his size.
I cannot get the memories of the Arcadia game from 2011 out of my head. McCarthy did not handle being chopped very well. He also didn’t handle being double teamed very well. Contrast that with the championship game vs. Whittier Christian the year before when he was a menace in pass-rush situations.
Things may have changed since then, but if McCarthy didn’t handle the interior lineman thing very well back then, I have a hard time seeing him handle it well now. Hope I’m wrong, but like Brigham Harwell, I think UCLA has this wrong.
However, if Big Ellis uses his natural speed and athleticism to go with his size and keeps his nasty button “on”, then maybe he’ll be a beast.