A whole new world for Ray-Ray

Tampa (Fla.) Sickles running back Ray-Ray McCloud had an eventful West Coast swing the last three weeks hitting UCLA, USC and then The Opening.

BEAVERTON, Ore. — Ray-Ray McCloud has spent more time on the West Coast this summer than he ever dreamed he would have a year ago.

The dynamic 5-foot-9, 180-pound four-star visited UCLA and USC before heading to Oregon for The Opening this week. His three days in California opened his eyes to a whole new world.

“It was my first time out west,” said McCloud. “I saw things I’ve never seen before like In-n-Out. I’ve never seen that. I met new people, like Josh Rosen. It was a great trip.”

McCloud spent tow days at UCLA, then headed to USC for the last day of the Trojans’ Rising Stars Camp.

“I actually didn’t go to the whole camp because the IMG Nationals. Me, Deion (Cain) and a couple other players cramped up. We only had 14 players on the team at the time.

“I kind of cramped up a lot, then I flew out the next morning and my body was a little beat up from UCLA and IMG. I think there was a lot more people at UCLA, more corners and stuff. But both camps were nice.

“The coaches’ personality — they like to have fun. Same like the UCLA coaches, they’re real young. A lot of young coaches. They like to have fun as well. I can’t really say what was different.”

Although McCloud only had a day with the Trojans coaching staff, he did more than just perform on the football field.

“I liked everything about the visit,” said McCloud. “I went up there and they treated me right. Just spending time with Nelson (Agholor), the coaches and the other players, even Leon (McQuay III)… It was great.”

The trip out west helped USC inch closer to a follow up officially visit in the future, but reading between the lines, the visit to Los Angeles may have helped UCLA a little more.

“I think one of them is going to be one of my top schools,” said McCloud. “I want to go out there with my parents and then I’ll make my decision and stuff. Either one.

“I’d rather go with my dad because my mom is the academic part of it and she knows UCLA is a great academic school overall.”

Which begs the question, is USC on the outside looking in while trying to remain a school in contention for his signature come February?

“I think USC will too because of the program, the tradition, not even counting the coaching staff,” said McCloud. “I’m not going off the coaches or just the relationship with a coach. I’m going off the program, the history of the program, the tradition and what the school is bringing me.”

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