SAN ANTONIO - Ellis McCarthy is one of the best prospects in the 2012 class and has been pursued by programs across the country, but as he narrowed his list it was only Pac-12 schools that emerged.
Cal had been a favorite for some time and Saturday at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the five-star defensive tackle from Monrovia, Calif., picked the Golden Bears over USC, Oregon and many others.
"I like the fact that they have coach Tosh (Lupoi) and he said he won't leave the program for a while," McCarthy said. "He's a really good coach. One of my goals is to go to (the NFL) and he's put a couple of players (there) in the first round."
Rivals.com rates McCarthy, a 6-foot-5, 311-pound prospect, as the second-best defensive tackle and No. 17 prospect in the 2012 class. He's second in the California state rankings behind Sacramento Grant safety Shaq Thompson.
McCarthy picked Cal at the Army game but his recruitment appears far from over. Since the Monrovia standout has only taken an official visit to Oregon, it's expected the five-star will take other visits.
USC and UCLA could get official visits and McCarthy believes he's going to take his trip to Cal on Jan. 13.
"I've been on an unofficial (to Cal) and I really liked it," McCarthy said. "They gave me a tour around the school and I actually saw their weight room when it wasn't done. It wasn't even close at all. It was actually just a building with nothing in there."