Photo Courtesy of University of Miami Athletics

The veteran pass-catcher will suit up for the 2024 season.


It’s official. The University of Miami football team will have their newly-added veteran tight end, Cam McCormick, for the 2024 season, which will be his ninth year of college football eligibility. You read that right. McCormick was recently granted his ninth year of NCAA eligibility by the ACC, giving him one final opportunity to make his mark on college football.

While the college sports landscape is ever changing, the COVID-19 pandemic affected it in a way that we have never seen before. COVID-19 shut down professional, college and youth sports for almost all of the 2020 season’s sports, which cost Mason athletes and thousands of other college athletes the opportunity to represent their school that season.

The year was not completely lost, as many of these athletes were granted an additional year of eligibility in college athletics. The additional eligibility increased activity in the college sports transfer portal more than ever before. Mason athletics and hundreds of other college sports programs saw a portion of their athletes transfer elsewhere while simultaneously bringing in transfers from other universities. For ninth-year graduate transfer McCormick, that extra year presents one final opportunity for these transfer students to make their mark on college sports. 

McCormick began petitioning for two additional years of eligibility back in September of 2023, but instead was granted one extra year, his record-breaking ninth year. The 25-year-old’s road to a ninth season in college football has been as unique and trying as they come.

McCormick began his college football journey in the fall of 2016 at the University of Oregon, but sat out his freshman season as a redshirt. He played the entirety of the 2017 season and was healthy going into 2018 with the Ducks.

In the first game of the 2018 season, McCormick suffered a severe ankle injury that cost him the rest of his second season. The multiple surgeries and rehab for his ankle forced him to sit out of the 2019 season as well. 

In 2020, the world was struck by the COVID-19 pandemic and it brought almost everything, including sports, to a standstill. The NCAA suspended play for the entire season, which robbed McCormick of that season too and later gave the affected athletes an extra year of eligibility.

This lost year to COVID-19 granted thousands of college athletes an extra year of eligibility, which is one of the main reasons that McCormick and many others have been able to play for a season or even multiple seasons after they graduated.

Following the pandemic, McCormick returned to the field for the 2021 season; another season with the Ducks that would unfortunately be cut short. The tight end suffered a torn Achilles in the second game of the season, which would rob him of the rest of the season.

McCormick returned to the field in 2022 and played his second full college season. He caught three touchdowns that season for the Ducks. He later transferred to the University of Miami ahead of the 2023 season.

He underwhelmed in his first season at “The U”, compiling only 62 yards receiving on the season. While most assumed 2023 might have been his “last hoorah”, it was not. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end will suit up for the 2024 Miami Hurricanes with hopes of having his best season to date.

While McCormick has earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in his lengthy college stint, his dream to play in the NFL has not faltered. Even after six surgeries, four head coaches and the various trials and tribulations that came along with it, he remains resilient.

His persistence and patience throughout this process will likely inspire many college athletes with similar circumstances. McCormick’s story demonstrates that an opportunity for extra eligibility can be whatever you make of it, and he doesn’t plan to squander it.