Miami TE Cam McCormick granted ninth year of eligibility


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Miami tight end Cam McCormick confirmed Thursday he’d be returning to play for the Hurricanes in 2024 — his ninth season of college football.

McCormick, who began his career at Oregon in 2016, missed significant parts of four different seasons due to injury, which along with his redshirt year and the COVID year of 2020 allowed him to petition the NCAA for an unprecedented ninth season of eligibility.

McCormick announced his return on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday with the tagline “the pursuit of excellence has no goal line,” calling 2024 his “last ride.”

“I’m blessed that it was me to go through it because a lot of people would have folded under the pressure — both mentally and physically,” McCormick told ESPN. “But it’s pushed me to be a better person and teammate — everything. I’ve learned so much from every year and everything I’ve had to overcome.”

McCormick, 25, was originally a three-star prospect out of Bend, Oregon. He was part of the 2016 signing class at Oregon that included QB Justin Herbert, and a national class that included Nick Bosa, Ed Oliver, Rashan Gary and Jalen Hurts — all now established NFL veterans.

McCormick redshirted as a true freshman in 2016 then played in 13 games as a reserve in 2017. Then came a string of injuries — a broken leg in 2018 followed by complications that cost him 2019 and 2020, followed by a foot injury two weeks into the 2021 season. He was granted a sixth year of eligibility in 2019, then had another added in 2020 when the NCAA gave an extra season to all FBS players.

In 2022, McCormick finally was able to play a full season, earning the Capital One Orange Bowl FWAA Courage Award for his perseverance, appearing in 13 games and making six starts. He was granted eighth and ninth years of eligibility ahead of 2023 before transferring to Miami, where he was reunited with coach Mario Cristobal. He caught eight balls for 62 yards for the Hurricanes last season, but he had to resubmit his waiver to the ACC for the ninth year this offseason.

The ninth-year waiver was approved by the ACC, and McCormick said it was an easy decision to return, noting that his goal is to play in the NFL and, “I want to say I gave it my best opportunity and best shot.”

McCormick acknowledged that critics have suggested he shouldn’t still be playing, but he said he “isn’t going to be cut short by what people are saying,” and hopes his story will be an inspiration to other players battling injuries.

“I feel like my journey can help those that have to experience that,” he said. “It’s tough, but hopefully there’s some inspiration there, and guys who get injured can see my journey and dig deep within and keep pushing toward their goals and their future.”

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