Originally from Tampa, Florida, McCloud set hometown county records with 5,765 rushing yards and 58 total touchdowns as a wide receiver at Sickles High School, receiving the "Guy Toph" Award as the best player in Hillsborough Country in his senior year.
Soon after, McCloud committed to Clemson University where he recorded 78 career receptions for 723 yards while also adding 182 career punt return yards and 126 kickoff return yards in his three seasons with the Tigers.
McCloud credits his work ethic not only to his family who taught him responsibility and discipline, but to Super Bowl champion Nelson Agholor. Although almost four years apart, Agholor and McCloud grew up together in Tampa where they took their friendship from youth football to the NFL and the veteran receiver served as a mentor to McCloud.
"We stay in contact all the time about life decisions," Agholor said. "I've always stayed close with him in that way. He's got a great family. His dad and mom raised him well, but to have another player in this league to always make sure you're doing things the right way is important."
After playing in all 14 games of Clemson's National Championship run, McCloud attended the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, completing a 4.53 40-yard dash, a vertical jump of 34.5 inches, a broad jump of 113 inches and 13 bench press reps.
The Buffalo Bills went on to select McCloud with the 187th-overall pick in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
"When he got drafted I was so excited," Agholor said. "The one thing I know about him is (that) he's a player. He's going to find a way to make plays in this league. He just has to make sure he doesn't worry about where he was drafted. He just has to know his worth and that somebody needs him."
With a year under his belt with the Bills, McCloud went on to spend a season with the Carolina Panthers before making his way to the Pittsburgh Steelers for two seasons.
In 2021, McCloud led the NFL in punt return yards (367) while also adding 35 kickoff returns for 776 yards.
In addition to his efforts on special teams, McCloud continued to develop as a receiver in 2021. He notched career highs in targets (66), receptions (39), receiving yards (277) and first downs (18) last season in Pittsburgh.
"Ray-Ray carved out a niche for himself as a return man," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. "But that's his day job and he's been working to develop as a receiver and has done a great job of doing so."