Six days after No. 1 Clemson's football season came to an end, Ray-Ray McCloud has made the decision he will not return to the program for 2018. McCloud, a junior wide receiver from Tampa, Fla., will forego his final year of eligibility with the Tigers in what would have been his senior season and instead declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. McCloud announced the news Sunday and Clemson made it public via the university's football Twitter account. He will likely be joined by several others announcing their intentions to leave in the coming days, and he joins offensive lineman Taylor Hearn in already making it public. McCloud indicated he spent the last several days reflecting with family, coaches and friends. "My decision to come to Clemson was one of the best decisions of my life. The amount of success we've had as a team has been unbelievable and something that I will always cherish and never forget," he wrote. "I'd like to thank my teammates for all the support and hard work they put in to help this program be a championship contender year-in and year-out (and) my coaches for pushing me each and every day to be a better man first and foremost and to develop into the player I am today." McCloud's announcement comes as a bit of a surprise and he likely could have benefited from another year in college, although he does have the speed and the hands that bode well for the NFL. McCloud finished his junior season with 49 catches for 503 yards and just one receiving touchdown in Clemson's run-heavy offense behind quarterback Kelly Bryant. He averaged 10.3 yards per catch. The junior receiver was also was a mainstay for Clemson with punt returning duties and even experimented on the defensive side of the ball as a cornerback when coaches decided they wanted to try something different. What McCloud will bring to the NFL will be that athleticism, that versatility, that selflessness to try something new for the greater good of the team and that natural, raw ability teams crave. He appeared to be well-liked among his teammates and has always had a very natural, easy-going personality. From an athletic standpoint, he should perform well at the NFL Combine.
Clemson's Ray-Ray McCloud declares for 2018 NFL Draft
The Post and Courier | Jan 7