ORCHARD LAKE — Jeff McCarty described his son Josh McCarty’s style of play as hardworking and blue-collar.
So it’s no coincidence that the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s senior is going to be playing football at a stadium nicknamed “The Factory” next season.
McCarty has committed to play at Eastern Michigan University, and he’s ready to continue putting in that hard work at the next level. As a senior, he collected over 1,000 all-purpose yards and scored eight touchdowns, while averaging 6.02 yards per carry.
Eaglets coach George Porritt called McCarty a tough player who has what it takes to make an impact at the next level.
“He works hard. A lot of the young guys can see that (he’s) a hardworking kid, and that’s what’s got him where he’s at. He wasn’t the most gifted guy in his freshman and sophomore year, he got better his junior year, and then had a great breakout senior year,” Porritt said.
For McCarty, the recruiting process wasn’t always that great. He was going to camps and competing with other Division 1 players, but the offers weren’t coming in.
After his senior season, the St. Mary’s running back received a few Division 2 offers, which intrigued him. Then he visited EMU, and everything fell into place.
During his visit, he was able to tour the campus, talk with the coaching staff and look at all of the facilities. After the visit, he knew it was the right fit for him and decided to make it his home.
“I just loved it up there. I like the coaching staff and what they believe in and the goals they have set in the season,” McCarty said. “They always compete every year in and out. ... I just wanted to be a part of it.”
In his talks with the staff, McCarty said the Eagles plan to use him as a running back. However, there is potential for him to be returning kicks or playing on other special teams.
EMU is expecting McCarty on campus June 17. McCarty said the strengths of his game are his physicality and overall IQ, but before he heads off to college, he’d like to continue working on footwork.
Once he’s on campus at EMU, McCarty is planning to continue doing what got him to where he is: putting his head down and going to work each and every day.
“I just did what I had to do to become a Division 1 athlete, and I feel like that’s what has motivated me to be the player I am today,” McCarty said.
Throughout his time at St. Mary’s, McCarty has gotten advice from his family, the coaching staff and others close to him. He has two cousins — Del’Shawn Phillips and Raymon Taylor — who have played D-1 football.
Phillips played at the University of Illinois and Taylor played at the University of Michigan. Those two have given him advice about what to expect and told him that if he keeps working hard, everything will fall into place.
Jeff McCarty has the same advice for his son. He wants him to continue working hard and do the best that he can do.
“We’re going to keep grinding; we’re going to keep working. I don’t care who’s ahead of you on any depth chart, who came in more celebrated than you, who has more stars than you. I don’t care about any of that,” Jeff McCarty said. “You just go to work. You get bigger, faster, stronger every day. Try to improve every day, and we’ll let the chips fall where they may.”