Sometimes players look for that edge. Another tenth of a second off of their time. Another five pounds of lean muscle. Colin McCarthy
has seen big gains in both muscle and speed. He has put up over 10 pounds and shaved over a quarter of a second off of his 40-yard dash time.
"The summer is going good. I am working on my strength and my speed," McCarthy said. "I mean as far as my be 40 time from the end of the season it was a 4.75 and I now have it down to a 4.49. I have been gaining weight too. I was at 205 at the beginning of the season, but now I am 217."
The 6-foot-1 and now 217 pound linebacker from Clearwater (Flor.) Central Catholic has been busy when he hasn't been training taking in camps and combines. He has been to three combines and three camps. All of which he believes that he compared favorably to the other players if not better.
"I ended up going to three combines. I went to the Tallahassee Nike combine, Scout.com combine at South Florida and the MSL combine at Gainesville. Overall I think that I did better than everyone else. At the Nike camp there were a lot of so-called stud linebackers, but I compared just as well and beat them."
"My 40 time at Tallahassee was a 4.53 for the combine. I went to camp at Florida State about a week or so ago and I ended up running a 4.49 for the coaches up there. I went to the Friday Night Camp at Florida too. It was kind of different. I went to the Penn State camp too. That was at the beginning of the summer."
Beyond camps and combines McCarthy also had some time to take in some unofficial visits. So far he has been able to see a couple of in-state schools. "I went to Miami for a day just to check out their campus and stuff like that. As far as Florida schools, I went to check out South Florida. We had a seven on seven passing league there and I got a chance to talk with the linebacker coach there."
McCarthy had a monster year last year. He had 163 total tackles of which 118 were unassisted. He also had 12 tackles for loss, two sacks and five interceptions. It's easy to understand now why he is getting all of this attention.
"I am up to 20 offers or so. I haven't started to narrow things down yet. I am mostly waiting on receiving offers from Florida, Florida State, North Carolina and some other schools to see if they will offer or not."
Beyond the offers that McCarthy would like to receive before any paring of his list takes place there are a couple of schools that jump out at him.
"As far as the schools that have offered; there are some big-time schools that have offered me that I was happy about getting them from like Miami and Nebraska. Also Penn State. It meant something a little more to me than some of the other ones. As far as my offers go I am still taking them all into consideration. I haven't really narrowed anything down."
McCarthy hasn't decided anything about his official visits. He is hoping to make a trip in the coming weeks to see a school that has been recruiting him for a long time and is showing a lot of interest.
"I will be taking an unofficial in the next couple of weeks to Indiana. I was hoping to get up there. They were one of the first schools to offer and they have been showing a lot of interest. Me and my dad are in the process of trying to set that up."
In the end, McCarthy is looking for comfort and an education and not how close he can stay to home. Staying in state is a luxury that he would like to have, but it's not a necessity. "Distance doesn't affect me. I'll end up wherever I feel most comfortable and where I can get a good education. I am not trying to stay in-state, but it would be nice to. I am willing to go out of state for a good school."
One school that would require him to move a long way from home if he decides to attend there is Nebraska. McCarthy has said that the Nebraska offer does stand out to him. Unfortunately for Husker fans he isn't familiar with a very recent Clearwater product from another high school that is a Husker.
"They have been known for their tradition and they are a big-time program. Playing for a team like that who has a tradition like that for football is pretty serious. I know Harrison Beck, but I haven't really had a chance to talk to him one on one. I have seen him. I only know him by name."
One of the best linebackers in the nation has gone from a 4.75 40-yard dash to a 4.49 in a matter of months. That same player has put on over 10 pounds in that timeframe. He has put forth the effort this off-season and had a great year last year to get the attention he has received so far. Wait for him to blow the lid off of his recruiting this fall by becoming bigger and faster.