One of his Clemson coaches believes he could do it
On Sunday, Ray-Ray McCloud announced his decision to forgo his senior year at Clemson and put his name in the 2018 draft pool for the NFL Draft.
It’s presumed because he played the majority of his career as a wide receiver that McCloud is going in as a pass catcher. However, one of his former Clemson coaches feels the Tampa native could make some money on Sundays as a defensive back if so chooses.
Mike Reed, who played for two seasons in the NFL as a defensive back and then coached the position at the NFL level for five more seasons, should know as well as anyone if a player has the skill set to make it on Sundays at defensive back.
Reed said prior to the Sugar Bowl last week that McCloud can play defensive back in the NFL because “he has the God given ability. He has the mental makeup to be a good DB.”
If you recall, McCloud did come in for the Tigers in an emergency situation at cornerback this year at NC State. With the Wolfpack driving in hopes of tying the game in the last seconds, McCloud came in after freshman A.J. Terrell got banged up on a tackle out of bounds when he ran into defensive end Austin Bryant.
Reed said McCloud played well, which was no surprise to him or the other Clemson coaches.
“He is a player. He is a dynamic player,” the Clemson coach said. “If you go back to the spring game, he was playing DB in the spring game so it was nothing new for him. I guess it was new for the fans, but he does it every day. It was not nothing new for us.”
McCloud played defensive back in high school and was actually first recruited to Clemson and offered as a defensive back. He played defensive back and was a running back at Sickles High in Tampa.
“With his background of being a defensive back, it was very easy for him to come in and help at defensive back,” Reed said. “Some people say his deposition is a defensive back. So his tenacity and his knowledge of the position helped him, and people failed to realize that Ray-Ray was offered as a DB.
“He elected to play receiver, because, like a lot of kids, he likes having the ball in his hand. So it was an opportunity for him to come over and refuel the fire that should have been lit in the first place, but it is what it is.”
The question is did McCloud lite that fire just enough to maybe make the position switch in the NFL? His draft process should be interesting to watch.