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Thursday, December 1, 2011
Staying or going? Dan McCarthy

By Matt Fortuna

This week we are taking a look at each of Notre Dame's fourth-year scholarship players with eligibility remaining and examining whether he will likely return to the Irish next season. Here, we look at safety Dan McCarthy.

Before Notre Dame: From Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio, McCarthy entered Notre Dame as ESPNU's No. 24 safety and was named Gatorade Player of the Year for Ohio. He joined older brother Kyle, who was a 2009 captain for the Irish and currently plays for the Denver Broncos.

At Notre Dame: The 6-foot-2, 205-pound McCarthy has appeared in 23 games the past three seasons, playing at safety and on special teams. He has totaled 15 tackles and one forced fumble for his career, which has been hampered by injuries.

What's next?: For now, McCarthy will back up captain Harrison Smith as the Irish prepare for their bowl game.

The verdict: Going. Much like Clelland, McCarthy never caught much of a break on the field, suffering a neck injury in a high school game his senior year and dealing with a hamstring injury early last season before later undergoing shoulder surgery.

Previous players:

Braxston Cave
Lane Clelland
Dayne Crist
Sean Cwynar
Mike Golic Jr.
John Goodman
Kapron Lewis-Moore