With all the hype surrounding some of the bigger names in the 2002 class, its easy to forget some of the guys that committed early in the recruiting process. Guys like QB Will Proctor or WR Gerald McCloud are athletes that could come in and make a serious impact on the Clemson football program in upcoming years.
Gerald McCloud, (6'2,190,4.5) from Jacksonville's Arlington Country Day High School, was really the featured athlete for a class A program that just recently started their football program several years ago.
As a junior, Gerald rushed for over 1,400 yards as the featured back in the Wing-T offense. He also brought in 3 interceptions from his cornerback position on defense. This past season he once again went over the 1,000 yard mark on the ground while averaging over 10 yards per carry. As a defensive back, he recorded 2 more interceptions and over 60 tackles.
One important note- don't forget about special teams with Gerald McCloud. He is an outstanding kickoff return man, returning two kicks for scores this past year. He also routinely provided the Apaches with outstanding field position, almost always getting outside his own 30-yard line. With his speed and quickness, look for Coach Bowden to utilize him on special teams as soon as he's ready for action.
Gerald also has a nose for the endzone, scoring 4 touchdowns in one game on two seperate occasions in high school career.
On the academic front, he is already fully qualified with a GPA of 3.0 and a SAT score of 830.
Gerald chose the Tigers last summer over South Carolina, Central Florida, and Tulane. He also had offers on the table from Wake Forest and several other smaller schools. Gerald attended football camps at both South Carolina and Clemson last summer before deciding that he would become a Tiger.
"He really enjoyed talking with Rick Stockstill, and he wanted to commit early. Honestly, he has more potential than any athlete I've ever coached," says Arlington Country Day coach John Street. "He could play any number of positions at the next level, but I believe they will give him a look at wide out or possibly cornerback. He'll do just fine at either position."
It will be interesting to see how McCloud's career pans out at Clemson University. It seems logical to assume that he will likely redshirt his first year as the coaching staff tries to figure out which position suites him the best.
Our opinion is that he will evenutally end up in the defensive backfield. He has the athleticism to stay with any wide receiver in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and he is physical enough to bring down a big running back or fullback. Gerald also has a good frame for a defender at 6'2, and he'll easily be able to add some weight once he gets to school this summer.
One thing is for sure, we should all be glad that he's a Tiger!
An Indepth Look at Gerald McCloud
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