Running back Ray-Ray McCloud arrived at Florida on Friday to take in the Gainesville campus one more time before he plans to make his college decision on Monday night.
Gator Country caught up with McCloud before the visit and he told us what he was looking to get out of the visit. McCloud insisted that his mind was not made up 100-percent, even though his decision date was coming down the road.
McCloud was seen on the sidelines, a blue tank top sporting “The Opening” logo (the event he participated in the first week of July) and talked with fellow Tampa product Vernon Hargreaves III and St. Petersburg standout Dante Fowler Jr.
“I actually talked to a lot of them,” he said. “I’m real close to Dante Fowler, Vernon [Hargreaves]. They were just telling me to make my own decision, not to let anyone make it for me.
“Of, course they did [make a pitch for Florida] but they know it’s a business decision and it’s my choice.”
McCloud still plans to announce his college choice between Florida, Clemson, Maryland and UCLA on Monday night at 6:30 on Bright House Cable but the choice he makes on Monday may not be his final destination. Early commitments have been trending in recent years from running backs but McCloud knows that a lot can change from July to National Signing Day and he wants to be able to keep his options open even after pledging a commitment.
“When I commit I’m still going to keep my recruiting options open. Things happen, you don’t want to get lost in the shuffle,” he said. “I mean coaches can go to different places, things like that. You still have relationships with coaches at other schools so you want to have like a plan b.”
As he told Gator Country earlier in the day, distance won’t play a huge factor in Monday’s decision but McCloud did admit that he has a big family and he would like for them to be able to see him play in college. His family would be able to see him play if he ventured across the country to attend UCLA but not with the same frequency if he stayed closer to home. That’s part of the message Will Muschamp was trying to hammer home with the prospect.
“It’s nothing like doing what I do in my home state,” McCloud said of what Muschamp’s message was to him. “Just that I can be a big impact at Florida and he wants me to be a Gator.”
The hats will be out, laid neatly on a table for him on Monday. He’ll pick just one of those four hats, announcing a commitment. However, McCloud’s recruitment is far from over. Gator fans can feel good if Florida is the choice on Monday but know that McCloud will continue taking visits and keep his options open.