"McCloud, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 295 pounds, was actually closer to 315 pounds when he made it to Tallahassee. But he said he doesn't expect to have any problem working his way into playing shape; he is excited about participating in FSU's off-season conditioning program and spring practice.
" 'We redshirted this year, so we didn't get to do too much conditioning,' McCloud said. 'That's why it's so great for us to get here early so we'll have time to get ready. By the time the season starts, we should be top notch.' "
McCloud was lightly recruited out of high school because he wasn't expected to qualify academically, but he is expected to be in the mix for immediate playing time. Bainbridge High head football coach Ed Pilcher, who won five state titles during his 17-year stint at Central, said McCloud is the best defensive lineman he ever coached.
"They really think he has a chance to come in and play right away, and I think he will too," Pilcher said. "FSU hasn't had that many of those big defensive linemen. This is a big kid that moves pretty good. He's gonna have a chance to come in and contribute right away.
"He's got great flexibility and great explosion off the ball. He's strong, and he's got a lot of good football sense about him. He really understands the game."
[Tomahawk Nation: the coaches had to expect that these guys would come in out of shape. But the coaches wanted them to redshirt this past year in JUCO so that they could come in with 3 years to play as redshirt sophomores. It's a trade off FSU was willing to accept, provided they came in this spring (which they did). They have 7 months until opening day and that should be plenty.]