It's every young man's dream to play for the NFL team nearest his home. That very well may come true for former Clearwater Central Catholic and University of Miami linebacker Colin McCarthy.
With the NFL draft underway and the second and third rounds in progress Friday night, it's not out of the realm of possibility that McCarthy could be drafted by an NFL team tonight, if not Saturday when the remainder of the NFL draft's seven rounds concludes.
McCarthy was one of only 30 college players who were invited by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a full-day interview at the team's headquarters at One Buc Place, which speaks to the seriousness of the Bucs in acquiring McCarthy's talents.
"I just got the opportunity to visit and meet the head coach [Raheem Morris] and then the defensive assistants," McCarthy said. "I got to speak with the general manager [Mark Dominik] and got a tour around the facility and worked out a little bit. We just talked football and expectations and what they have and how I can fit into their system."
Apparently the Bucs believe McCarthy can indeed fit in. The Bucs have a number of linebackers, including two starters, that are free agents, meaning they can leave for another team if they so desire.
"The one thing was, since I have played all three linebacker positions [at Miami], it increased my value and how I can help the team," McCarthy said. Dominik "also said he liked the way I carry myself on and off the field and the passion I play with and the mentality I play with and how I get to the football and make plays."
At Miami, McCarthy was sort of the quarterback of the defense. He had the responsibility of calling defensive formations. Oddly enough, one of the Bucs' free agents, middle linebacker Barrett Ruud, has that responsibility currently with the team.
"They gave me the opportunity at Miami to make all the calls on defense and get the defense lined up so I’m ready to make that move to the next level," McCarthy said. "At the end of the day, no matter where I end up, I am going to keep pushing forward."
In short, McCarthy thinks he can help the Bucs get over the hump and return to the glory days.
"It would be a great opportunity obviously," McCarthy said. "The Bucs are an up-and-coming team. There is a lot of young talent there. Given the opportunity to help get them to be a playoff team and use my athletic ability and my passion for the game of football… I really think I could help them get to the playoffs and hopefully win another Super Bowl."