hawkeye Posted November 22, 2010 Share Posted November 22, 2010 I think TD said he was looking at him, but I don't really like him. But then again I'm not a pro scout.http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/17/1929396/making-the-most-of-the-middle.htmlBefore he played his final high school game at Clearwater Central Catholic, Colin McCarthy already was being compared with Dan Morgan.University of Miami coaches believed McCarthy not only had the potential to be just as good as the All-American, who won the Butkus, Nagurski and Bednarik awards, they also wanted McCarthy to wear Morgan's No. 44 jersey.Five years later, McCarthy still has never spoken to Morgan, shaken his hand or come close to living up to those rather large expectations. But the 6-3, 240-pound senior has had a productive career -- his 33 career starts and 270 career tackles are more than any Hurricanes linebacker has had since Jonathan Vilma manned the middle of UM's defense and produced 377 career tackles.And if McCarthy can lead No. 24 UM (7-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) to a win over No. 14 Virginia Tech (8-2, 6-0) on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium -- and maybe into the ACC title game if UM gets help from Virginia -- then he will be more than happy with what he has accomplished.``I guess they always try to compare you to somebody around here,'' said McCarthy, who had 15 tackles last Saturday against Georgia Tech and has 81 tackles, a fumble recovery, an interception and a sack this season. ``When you add up the accomplishments [Morgan] had on the field, not just the NFL, he was a [heck] of a player.``Obviously, I'm trying to be the same kind of player. I've tried my best to meet those expectations and standards. But I'm still a work in progress.''Beyond height, weight and a jersey number, McCarthy has a lot in common with Morgan, who finished his UM career with a school-record 532 tackles. Both grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs before moving to Florida, where they starred in high school. Both also spent their first three seasons at UM playing outside linebacker before being switched to middle linebacker as a senior.SHORT NOTICEMcCarthy's move, however, came just a week before the start of the season when coaches determined after fall camp that senior Kylan Robinson couldn't cut it.``I didn't get a whole bunch of reps at it in camp,'' McCarthy said. ``At the end of camp I kind of had an idea it might happen, then the week of our first game [coach Randy Shannon] was like, `You're moving there.' ''``I feel so much more comfortable at this point of the season versus the first week. The biggest challenge was just the angles, my keys, the assignments. Playing outside, it's different from the middle. People may not think it's a big difference, but it is.``Playing outside, you have more space and kind of just run around. This is more downhill. I kind of like the middle. It's fun.''Since Vilma left UM in 2003 with 377 career tackles (seventh all-time), the Hurricanes have had trouble finding a steady solution at middle linebacker. Instead of one constant starter, the position has been like a revolving door with players such as Darryl Sharpton, Glenn Cook, Tavares Gooden, Romeo Davis and Leon Williams moving from the outside to the inside -- usually during their senior years.Shannon said McCarthy started off slow in the middle, but added, ``The last couple of games, he's been really tremendous.'' Since sitting out against Duke on Oct. 16, McCarthy has 46 tackles over his past four games -- including a career-high 18 in the loss at Virginia.HEART OF THE DEFENSE``To me, he's done a great job,'' cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke said. ``He's the heart of our defense -- it all revolves around him. When he moved to middle linebacker this year, I knew it was going to be successful because he can play all three positions.''McCarthy, who is on track to graduate in December with a degree in business management and a minor in sports administration, said his dream job is to ``retire early, get into coaching or start a family business.''But he still has plenty of football ahead of him. ESPN ranks McCarthy as the eighth-best outside linebacker and 93rd-best overall prospect regardless of position in the NFL Draft in April. But that part of his future, he said, is far from his mind.What he wants more than anything is to beat the Hokies, who pounded the Hurricanes 31-7 last season in Blacksburg, Va.``All I remember about that game was the rain and getting our butts kicked,'' McCarthy said. ``They've got a great team, three great running backs and a quarterback in Tyrod Taylor who is really good.``We have to man up.'' Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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