Five-star Ellis McCarthy committed to Cal at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl but after defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi left the Golden Bears for Washington the Monrovia, Calif., defensive tackle knew he had to make a change.
McCarthy, a 6-foot-5, 311-pound prospect, said Monday night that his relationship with Lupoi was so strong that once the coach decided to leave Cal that staying committed there was no longer an option for him.
UCLA's coaching staff had an in-home visit with McCarthy on Monday and the five-star decided to switch his commitment to the Bruins. The Southern California prospect is expected to take an official visit to UCLA this weekend.
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"The relationship I built with coach Tosh was a big factor in my decision to go to Cal," McCarthy said in a text message.
"The minute I found out he was gone I knew I didn't want to be there."
USC has also been involved in McCarthy's recruitment but it's unclear whether the Trojans will have a chance leading up to National Signing Day.
It was really no secret that McCarthy had developed a good relationship with Lupoi and he was a major reason why the Golden Bears won out in his recruitment. Since Lupoi left for Washington, McCarthy said things immediately changed.
"I like the fact that they have coach Tosh and he said he won't leave the program for a while," McCarthy told Rivals.com during Army week.
"He's a really good coach. One of my goals is to go to the (NFL) and he's put a couple of players in the League in the first round."