Foot in the door

It was the word that Tony Elliott left Ray McCloud with back in the summer of 2012 that has gotten Clemson this far.

ATH Ray McCloud Profile

Coming off his freshman season, McCloud was hardly a blip on anyone's recruiting radar. It was that summer before his sophomore season that McCloud, while in Clemson for the Dabo Swinney Football Camp, made his first trip to Clemson.

By the time he arrived for camp the following summer, Arizona, UMass, Georgia Southern and Tennessee State had already offered.

The Clemson staff didn't let him leave the 2013 edition of Dabo Camp without an offer.

Unsure of the exact day, but sometime this weekend, McCloud will make his third visit to Clemson, thanks to the foundation that Elliott laid some two years ago.

"The way coach Elliott, I like coach Elliott a lot," McCloud said, during a recent interview with CUTigers. "They were the first big school to give me a chance.

"I don't really know how to say it, but when coach Elliott told me when I was a freshman that he was going to come down [to Tampa, Fla.] and talk to me. He did. He kept his word and that always stood out to me."

Offered by Clemson as a defensive back, McCloud is a three-star running back, according to A junior at Sickles High School, he now holds offers from the state's big three schools, plus several others big ones from across the country, including Nebraska, Notre Dame, UNC, Ohio State, Tennessee and West Virginia.

While in the state of South Carolina, McCloud will stop by Columbia for a visit to South Carolina. Florida, Miami and USF have also hosted him for visits this spring.

Four-star wide receiver Deon Cain could join the McCloud travelling party this weekend, but it's not for sure. McCloud said he will be accompanied by his parents and younger brother.

And this much is certain: the 5-foot-10, 170-pound prospect looks forward to seeing the Clemson campus for a third time.

"I just want to see more of the school. I want to watch them practice," he said.

The No. 45 ranked running back in the class of 2015 has no favorites nor does he have a timeline for a decision.

As a junior, he scored a total of 28 touchdowns. Top Stories