Archbishop Murphy junior Josh McCarron is The Herald’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year for prep football. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Archbishop Murphy junior Josh McCarron is The Herald’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year for prep football. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Football Defensive Player of the Year: Josh McCarron

The Archbishop Murphy junior DE posted an eye-popping 21 sacks and 30 tackles for loss.

Archbishop Murphy defensive end Josh McCarron is pretty easy to spot on the football field.

He’s that guy putting opposing quarterbacks on their back, chasing down running backs and leaving offensive linemen scratching their heads as they try to figure out how to stop the 6-foot-4, 215-pound junior from wreaking havoc in the backfield.

“I think Josh’s quality is that Josh goes 110% on every single snap,” Wildcats coach Mark Leone said, “which gives him the ability to make plays every single time.”

McCarron had a monster season as a part of Archbishop Murphy’s stellar defense, posting an eye-popping 21 sacks and 30 tackles for loss while forcing three fumbles.

“It’s honest to God pretty incredible,” McCarron said of his production this season. “It’s not something I look at at the beginning of the season. I’m not playing for stats, but at the end of the season you have that moment to kind of look back and be like, ‘I really did that?’ It’s awesome.”

For his dominant junior campaign in trenches, McCarron is The Herald’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year.

McCarron was a difference-maker for the Wildcats this year, helping lead the charge for a defensive unit that allowed just 14.5 points per game and recorded three shutouts. But the standout pass-rusher is the first to attribute his success to his teammates and their ability to set him up for opportunities to succeed.

“I don’t think I could have had the year I did without that supporting cast,” McCarron said. “I say supporting cast, but really I was (part of) the supporting cast for all of those players. That’s just the culture we’ve built here.”

McCarron specifically mentioned fellow defensive lineman Zion Robinson, who McCarron said ate up blocks and gave him the one-on-one situations he thrives in.

“If I get a guy isolated, I think that’s a matchup I can win,” he said.

McCarron also credited the work he put in with Murphy alum Tani Tupou, who played for the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL, the University of Washington and currently is a member of the Seattle Dragons XFL team.

After participating at a lineman camp in California, McCarron realized he needed to improve his skills beyond his speed-rushing ability. Tupou’s tutelage helped him become more well-rounded defensively, especially when reading offensive linemen pre-snap.

“That (was) the most transcendent thing for me all year, watching how players play in a completely different facet of the game,” McCarron said.

McCarron may be the first to defer credit for his success, but his play on the field certainly grabbed the attention of others.

“He is a game-changer that offenses must game-plan around,” Lakewood coach Dan Teeter said.

Leone said the Murphy coaches noticed McCarron was getting more attention from offenses in the passing game as the season went on, and the Wildcats’ head coach said McCarron’s standout performance against two-time defending Class 2A state champion Hockinson helped his defensive end become a part of opponents’ game plans. Murphy upset the Hawks 27-21 on their home turf in Week 2, ending a 28-game winning streak for the eventual state semifinalists, and McCarron was all over the place. He piled up nine tackles, four for loss, and two sacks.

“He made so many big plays in that game that it’s hard not to notice,” Leone said. “In my opinion, that’s the game that really kind of put him on the map with the teams that we played and kind of made them see that, ‘OK, this kid is an all-around type player.’”

And it’s not just the high school coaches who noticed McCarron’s abilities.

McCarron is a three-star outside linebacker prospect ranked 14th in the state overall for the Class of 2021, according to 247Sports. He’s taken unofficial visits to UW and Virginia Tech.

“It’s been awesome,” McCarron said of the opportunities. “It’s just (been) a dream of mine since (I was) a young kid to be a Division-I football player, and to see that dream kind of start to unfold, it’s awesome.”

McCarron could be the next in an impressive pipeline of Division-I players the Wildcats’ program has produced since its inception in 2000, a group that includes Tupou, Abe Lucas, Kyler Gordon, Shiloh Keo and a handful of others.

But college is still a couple years away, and McCarron, who also shined on offense with 26 receptions for 391 yards and three touchdowns, is focused on leaving Murphy as a state champion his senior season after suffering a 48-0 loss to eventual state champion Tumwater in the 2019 state quarterfinals.

“You can already see the change of mindset in all of our players. Losing 48-0 is not something a lot of us take lightly,” McCarron said. “It’s time to go out and get that ring and prove to the rest of the state that we’re not just a state-playoff caliber team, we’re a state-championship-caliber team.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

The AquaSox' Noelvi Marte hits a double against the Spokane Indians at Funko Field on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 in Everett, Washington. The Mariners promoted Marte from Low-A Modesto to High-A Everett on Monday. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Top-prospect Marte heating up in 2nd half for AquaSox

After some early struggles, the young shortstop batted .350 with three homers and 13 RBI in the past 11 games for Everett.

Washington's Steve Emtman leaves the field displaying the numberone sign after Washington's 34-14 win over Michigan in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 1, 1992. Emtman and Washington's quarterback Billy Joe Hobert were named co-MVPs of the game. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)
The Pac-12 will never be the same — and that’s sad for many

The dismantling of the conference hurts for those that have been fans for a long, long time.

Seattle Mariners infielders react after the Mariners defeated the San Diego Padres 6-2 in a baseball game Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Mariners sweep Padres, move within 1 game of .500

Seattle beats San Diego 6-2 for its 12th win in its past 15 games.

Seattle Seahawks owner Jody Allen stands on a balcony at CenturyLink Field after she raised the 12th man flag before the team's NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Jody Allen: Seahawks, Blazers not for sale at this time

The statement came amid growing speculation about the future ownership of the teams.

FILE - Germany's assistant coach Jessica Campbell stands behind players on the German bench during the group A Hockey World Championship match between France and Germany in Helsinki, Finland, Monday May 16, 2022. The Coachella Valley Firebirds have hired Jessica Campbell as the American Hockey League’s first female assistant coach. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
Kraken AHL team hires 1st female assistant in league history

Jessica Campbell will be behind the bench for the Coachella Valley Firebirds next season.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen of Everett poses with a soccer ball in front of the U.S. capitol building in Washington, D.C.. (Provided photo)
How Rep. Rick Larsen helped Seattle secure its 2026 World Cup bid

The longtime congressman isn’t solely responsible, but he played a small role in bringing the event to the Pacific Northwest.

Storm
Dream pull away in 3rd to beat Storm

Seattle never leads in a 90-76 loss to Atlanta.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox fall to Canadians

Everett musters just two hits as Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis makes a rehab appearance.

Kevin Clark / The Herald

***Silvertips Special Sections*****
Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015

Sports:  Silvertips Special Section
Shot on: 09/06/15
Silvertips add pair in CHL import draft

Everett selects Czechian forward Dominik Rymon with pick 57 and Swiss goalie Tim Metzger 117th overall.

Most Read