Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

More Than a Game

Mail keeps pouring in for Sickles standout Ray Ray McCloud

On Saturday, Ray Ray McCloud III received 29 pieces of recruitment mail; the rest of his family received three letters.

This is normal for the McCloud household.

During the week, the Sickles High School running back received a good luck letter for his school's upcoming game against Freedom High from Clemson University running back coach Tony Elliott, along with letters from schools including Notre Dame, the University of South Florida and Louisville. There were also 27 letters that Sickles head football coach Brian Turner gave him that arrived at the school. On average, Ray Ray receives about 150 recruitment letters every week.

"Our mail carriers are big football fans and they are always talking about the recruitment mail that gets sent here," said Ray Ray's mother, Lisa McCloud. "They told me, 'we are waiting to see who he commits to in the coming months.' "

Ray Ray, 16, is only a junior and can't yet legally drive a car on his own. But he has already received 15 offers to play college football. He received his first letters last year. The strangest letter? A fake check from the University of Southern California showing Ray Ray how much he might make in the NFL one day if he plays with the Trojans.

"I've gotten advice from other players; they told me to keep my head straight and to take my time, not to rush the process," he said. "It's going to happen, God is going to put you in the right place."

Ray Ray's parents and coaches are very excited about his athletic future, but they also put a strong focus on academics and faith. Though they try not to be overbearing in the process, his family agrees that Ray Ray's choice will be a family decision.

"We want to send him to a program that works well for him both academically and athletically," his mom said. "It's a big decision to make. We need to pray about it as a family."

Do you have an idea that you would like to see featured in "More Than a Game"? Eve Edelheit can be reached at eedelheit@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3309.

Each week this fall, Times photographer Eve Edelheit scans Hillsborough County to focus on the ancillary aspects — players, drama, coaches, fans, highs, lows, tradition, cheerleaders — which make prep football here "More Than a Game."

Mail keeps pouring in for Sickles standout Ray Ray McCloud 10/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 1:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.