Tampa athletes Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud III were two of the best 2015 recruits at Florida’s annual Friday Night Lights showcase in July.
Since then, UF has been among the schools recruiting them the hardest.
Arizona, Clemson, Ohio State, Ole Miss, UCLA are also heavily pursuing McCloud, a Rivals100 member out of Tampa Sickles.
Only two of those schools, Clemson and Florida, have received visits from McCloud. He’s taken trips to Auburn, Georgia, Louisville and Vanderbilt as well.
His comfort level with coaches is the determining factor in his decision, which will come “when the time feels right.”
The 5-foot-10, 172-pounder doesn’t claim an early leader, but UF is in the running.
“Florida is one of my top schools,” McCloud said. ‘The coaches are real good people. The offense is changing to a spread, so that really has my attention right now. It’s close to home and it’s an SEC town. I would like to stay close to home, but I’m willing to go anywhere.”
McCloud prefers to play running back, the position he’s being recruited for by the Gators. Their 2013 season hasn’t caused him to lose interest.
“Teams have their up and downs,” he said. “Last year Florida almost made it the national championship. They just need to get some more players and build up from there.”
Cain picked up some new offers in December, but one stood out the most.
“Florida’s meant a lot to me,” he said. “I know I did good at Friday Night Lights, and I think I deserved the offer then. But it takes time. I knew I was going to get it sooner or later. Florida is a good school to me and I was raised around a lot of Gators.”
Cain grew up in a house dividend of Florida and Florida State fans, and he rooted for the Seminoles.
FSU was his early front-runner, but with more schools starting to recruit him, he now calls everybody even. His other favorites are Clemson and Tennessee.
Like McCloud, the Gators grabbed Cain’s attention with hire of Kurt Roper.
“They got a new OC, and I see they’re going to progress well under him,” Cain said. “I saw the scheme he had at Duke, and it was pretty nice. I like it. I think I’ll fit well in his offense. Joker Phillips, the receivers coach, he was telling me I could make a lot of big plays and get so many yards.”
The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Tampa Bay Tech hopes to make a decision following his senior season, and playing time is his top priority. The Rivals250 member is being recruited by UF as an athlete.
“It doesn’t matter where I play,” Cain said. “I just want to get on the field fast.”