Ellis McCarthy, the nation’s No. 8 recruit, has switched his commitment from California to UCLA, according to multiple reports.
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound McCarthy originally made a verbal commitment to Cal at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
However, following today’s news that Golden Bears assistant coach and top recruiter Tosh Lupoi was taking a job at Washington, McCarthy reevaluated his options and decided to commit to UCLA.
McCarthy could be the first of several top recruits Cal loses due to the defection of Lupoi, arguably the nation’s top recruiter.
Shaq Thompson, who also committed to Cal at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, could also defect while Arik Armstead, who was nearly a lock to enroll early at Cal, appears headed elsewhere.
Another Top 100 recruit, offensive lineman Freddie Tagaloa, told MaxPreps senior writer Mitch Stephens that his commitment to Cal is absolutely firm. He also told Stephens that McCarthy’s switch wasn’t a surprise.
“Lopoi was his boy,” Tagaloa said. “Him leaving was definitely tough on him.”
Even with his decommitment from Cal, McCarthy landing at UCLA is a bit of a surprise. USC and Oregon were McCarthy’s other finalists originally, and USC seemed like a likely destination if he decided to back off his commitment to Cal.
McCarthy is a huge recruiting coup for Jim Mora Jr. He made 55 tackles and five sacks last season, earningU.S. Air Force Medium School All-American honors in the process.