Fast start drawing looks for Tampa Catholic's McCloud

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Tue. September 29, 2009 | Eduardo A. Encina

For any anxious senior football player hoping for scholarships, the first few weeks of the season are critical.

And if there's any Hillsborough County senior who has made a case for attention, it's Tampa Catholic running back Hank McCloud.

Through three games this season, McCloud has been the Crusaders' top offensive weapon, rushing for 489 yards and 3 touchdowns. He's averaging 163 yards a game and 8.29 yards a carry.

The recruiting of top prospects Christian Green and Chaz Green helped McCloud get noticed in the spring, Tampa Catholic coach Bob Henriquez said, but McCloud is making a name for himself now.

He already owns an offer from Division I-AA Towson (Former Tampa Bay Storm quarterback John Kaleo has recruited the area heavily for the Tigers) and has drawn interest from several Ivy League schools. But now Division I programs like Rutgers and Northwestern have asked for film to take a closer look at McCloud.

"He's been doing everything for us this year," Henriquez said. "He's gained about 10 pounds, but with the way he's running you'd think he's put on 25 pounds. He's such a strong runner and he gets into the secondary so easily."

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