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Defensive end Ellis McCarthy played as a reserve behind Datone Jones, but now that Jones is off to the NFL, McCarthy will start—you can count on that. McCarthy is special and with one year of learning the defense under his belt, he will be a threat to every Pac-12 quarterback standing in the pocket. He's a beast.
Safety Tevin McDonald has had to live with his older brother (T.J. McDonald, USC) grabbing attention from the LA media, but T.J. is now entered in the NFL draft. I actually think Tevin shows more promise and maturity than T.J., so this could be the year where Tevin not only breaks out as a defensive leader but breaks away from his older brother's shadow.
Corner Priest Willis has made a verbal commitment to UCLA and if that holds—and it will—and he doesn't burn a redshirt, which I don't think will happen, then the Bruins' secondary will improve drastically. UCLA loses both of its starting corners (Aaron Hester, Sheldon Price) so the battle for the starting spots could be very interesting in August. According to this video interview, Willis, a 5-star prospect, sounds like he's ready to start at corner this fall.