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TAMPA, Fla. - In the end, Tampa Sickles four-star athlete Ray-Ray McCloud III went against sequential and conventional recruiting order to defy popular thinking about his college choice.
McCloud (5-9, 176) revealed a commitment to Clemson on Monday evening at the end of a 30-minute local cable television announcement telecast, picking the Tigers over local favorite Florida, among others.
Ranked No. 26 nationally by Rivals.com, his pledge perhaps represents the cherry on top of a Clemson 2015 offensive class that features star receiver and close friend Deon Cain as well as the Tigers' top offensive line haul in more than two decades.
Cain committed to Clemson in late May, and McCloud jumping on board two months later represents a second coup in a recruitment that included intense pursuit from both Florida and reigning national champion Florida State.
As a junior, McCloud rushed for 2,316 yards and 26 touchdowns on 293 carries. He also caught nine passes for 192 yards and one score.
Clemson's staff recruited McCloud as an athlete and could be more apt to use him more as a receiver, where he shined during the spring and summer 7-on-7 circuit and various camps.
McCloud's announcement came three days after he attended Florida's "Friday Night Lights" showcase.
He becomes Clemson's 20th commitment for the class and is the second-highest ranked behind five-star lineman Mitch Hyatt.
If his ranking holds to form, McCloud would go down as the fifth-highest ranked signee from Florida since Rivals.com went online in 1999, trailing only C.J. Spiller (No. 8), Tony Steward (No. 13), Sammy Watkins (No. 15) and Mike Bellamy (No. 25).
Tigerillustrated.com will have much more on-site coverage from McCloud's commitment to come.
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