Worcester (Mass.) St. John's defensive tackle James McGillicuddy surprised a lot of people with his commitment decision. The four-star standout is headed to Harvard.
"Harvard is the best school in the world," said the 6-foot-4, 289-pounder. "I have to think long term. I can get the best education in the world and it's the best school in the world. I may blow out my knee in football or I may end up hating college football and at least I'll have a top education to fall back on."
McGillicuddy chose Harvard over offers from Boston College, Duke, Stanford, Vanderbilt and others.
"Boston College was really hard to turn down because I love the coaches there," he said. "It was such a hard decision. Stanford is also a school I love and as close to an Ivy League education as you can get. If the new Stanford coaches were to get in touch with me, I'd probably still take my visit out there Jan. 7 to compare. If I stay on the east coast, it's Harvard."
McGillicuddy is ranked as the No. 10 defensive tackle in the country and is one of the highest-ranked players to ever commit to an Ivy League school.
"It really came down to a decision on education," he said. "My parents and I feel that with a Harvard degree, I'll be taken care of regardless of football. And if I'm good enough, the NFL will find me anyhow."
Does he consider this a shocking choice?
"Maybe to some," he laughed. "But I've never really strayed from what I want. I sent my film to academic schools, showed interest in the top academic schools that play football and chose the best education in the world."