Nearly eight months after giving his pledge to the University of Virginia football program, it’s time for Josh McCarron to make it official.
The Archbishop Murphy senior is set to ink his National Letter of Intent with the Cavaliers on Wednesday when the early signing period for NCAA Division-I football players opens up, marking an early end to the recruiting process for Snohomish County’s top football prospect.
“It’s a dream come true,” McCarron said. “I was just talking to my dad about this earlier. He’s always kind of harped on me like, ‘You don’t have a piece of paper yet. You haven’t signed anything.’ So everything coming full circle, it’s pretty dope to finally say the first half of the journey is complete. I’m looking forward to a special day.”
McCarron, a three-star prospect ranked 10th overall in the state by 247sports, was The Herald’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year after a dominant junior campaign. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound pass rusher recorded 21 sacks, 30 tackles for loss and forced three fumbles while leading a stingy Archbishop Murphy defense that faced plenty of high-level competition in the strong Northwest 2A Sky Division.
He’ll switch from playing defensive end to outside linebacker in Virginia’s 3-4 defensive scheme.
McCarron told The Herald, after giving his verbal commitment on April 21, he was ready to embrace the challenge of playing a new position in college. Since then, McCarron said he’s used a combination of film study and live practice to help him get ready for that role.
“I’ve been watching a lot of Virginia games to see what guys like (starting Virginia outside linebackers) Charles Snowden and Noah Taylor do on the defense,” McCarron said, “and seeing how I can implement what they do into a training regime.”
Another great signee, from Mukilteo, Wash., bringing the Havoc to Charlottesville is Josh McCarron (@josh_mccarron8). Let us officially welcome him to the UVA Family!#GoHoos | #TheStandard21 🔶🔷 pic.twitter.com/4QkxZUU42y
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) December 16, 2020
The live reps have come from work with Ford Sports Performance and participation in COVID 7s, a 7-on-7 tournament in SeaTac run by high school players.
McCarron said he plans to leave for the Charlottesville, Virginia, campus on June 7.
“Once I get out to Virginia, it’s keeping that chip on the shoulder,” McCarron said. “I haven’t gotten an opportunity to prove myself as a Division-I athlete yet. I had my junior campaign (in high school), but I didn’t have any of the accolades I have currently. So now I’m just waiting for the opportunity to go out and show the world that it’s not just a fluke. It’s more than that. That I really am who I say I am.”
Before leaving for Virginia, McCarron is still hopeful to get a chance to play his senior season with his Archbishop Murphy teammates. Currently, high school football practices are scheduled to start March 8.
“We’ve put in a lot of hard work together over the summer, just making sure everyone’s conditioning, staying in shape, lifting in the weight room as much as possible,” McCarron said. “It would just mean a lot to get out there one final time with the guys to put all the pieces together and show the state what we’ve been working on.