This weekend, a number of reports among the various recruiting sites hinted that Clemson football commit Ray Ray McCloud was taking a visit to the Florida Gators. The news was rather concerning and, for many, confusing. It seems like there has been some misunderstanding about where McCloud stands with Clemson right now, after signing his financial aid agreement.
But first, most importantly, The State confirms, via a tweet from McCloud’s mother, that Ray Ray McCloud is still committed to Clemson.
Most of the reports on McCloud’s trip are behind pay-walls, but the headlines suggest that he wanted to visit Florida for his mother. McCloud visited Florida with Deon Cain back in March and, according to Gator Country, he said he wanted to come back with his mother at some point.
“I’m going back up to watch Florida practice so I can get my mom up there,” McCloud said. “She’s a big factor in my recruitment and she hasn’t seen Florida yet. I love my mom and she’s always going to have my back so if she isn’t feeling it at the school then that will impact my decision.”
Considering his mother is now the source confirming that Ray Ray is still committed to Clemson, I feel pretty good that he remains a Tiger. And this is something you see all the time with big-time recruits. When you have an opportunity to travel around, often on some school’s dime, it would be a shame not to take advantage of that opportunity. In this case, it sounds like a long-standing plan to bring his mom on a trip to Florida and nothing more.
As far as the financial aid agreement goes, it is not the same as a signed commitment. McCloud is not locked in yet. The financial aid agreement confirms his scholarship, so Clemson is committed to McCloud now, but that doesn’t go both ways. In fact, McCloud could sign financial aid agreements with multiple schools, if he wanted to. The first school is the only one to get the recruiting benefits from the agreement (unlimited contact, etc.) but that is about all it guarantees for the school. Like everyone else in the class, McCloud still has a few months left to fully make up his mind. The good news is he plans to graduate early and enroll in January, so presumably he will be pretty well locked-in by that point.