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RECRUITING: McCarthy commits to Irish

Mike Gilloon | Tuesday, January 25, 2005

When he walked around campus, it looked right. When he talked to the coaches, they sounded right. So when Kyle McCarthy decided which school to attend, he felt right about Notre Dame.

“Everyone kept saying you would get a good feeling when you found the right place,” McCarthy, a defensive back from Youngstown, Ohio said. “Being on campus with all the tradition and the people at Notre Dame, I just felt like this was the place for me.”

McCarthy is the latest verbal commitment in the 2005 Irish recruiting class, bringing the total to 14 players. He is the lone cornerback commit so far.

At Cardinal Mooney High School, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound. McCarthy played both quarterback and defensive back. He had 1800 yards of total offense his senior season, 1100 rushing and 700 passing, while leading his team to the state championship.

Timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, he used that speed to return two interceptions and three punts for touchdowns.

“Notre Dame is looking at [McCarthy] as a cornerback but I expect him to really make his mark on special teams,” Mike Frank of Irisheyes.com said. “He is a similar player to [current Irish free safety] Tom Zbikowski in that he likes to hit.”

Rated 71st nationally at cornerback, McCarthy is not the high-profile recruit that Zbikowski was coming out of high school. He turned down Ohio State to come to Notre Dame with Navy, Northwestern and Toledo also making scholarship offers. He is a two-star recruit (out of a possible five) by Scout.com.

McCarthy’s older brother is a current junior at Notre Dame. However, he said his commitment had nothing to do with family connections.

“It’s great to have my brother there,” McCarthy said. “But for me personally, Notre Dame was just the best fit.”

Another factor in McCarthy’s decision was Irish coach Charlie Weis.

“I talked to Coach Weis a lot during the recruitment,” McCarthy said. “I am really excited to be a part of what he is doing at Notre Dame.”

McCarthy intends to play baseball for his high school this spring. Then it’s off to South Bend, where he might be playing for a coach who has just won his fourth Super Bowl ring.

“Yeah, I plan on cheering for the Patriots,” McCarthy said.

After the firing of coach Tyrone Willingham, a handful of Irish verbal commitments decided to re-open their college searches. One of the more highly-touted prospects to do this, wide receiver David Nelson, officially broke his ties with Notre Dame as he verbally committed to Florida on Sunday.

“It’s official, we’re Florida Gators,” Roy Nelson, David’s father, said Sunday morning to Gatorcountry.com before a meeting with Florida coach Urban Meyer.

Nelson had 141 catches for 2,720 yards and 32 touchdowns in his last two years of high school. He is 6-foot-6 and 198 lbs. and played in the Army All-American Bowl earlier this month.

The loss of Nelson leaves the Irish with verbal commitments from only two wide receivers in D.J. Hord and David Grimes. Martin Frierson, a wide receiver from Columbia, S. C., had verbally committed to the Irish in mid-September. He then de-committed after the Willingham firing and is now headed to Georgia Tech.