Tim McCloyn thought that after missing two other commencement ceremonies in his life he would finally be able to attend one this weekend to pick up his master’s degree at Illinois State University.
The 2016 Huntley graduate got a better offer, however, and will happily go 0 for 3 on commencements.
Instead, the former Redbirds fullback will be a rookie minicamp invitee of the Bears in Lake Forest. McCloyn received a call from the Bears on Saturday evening after the final rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Bears are hosting their rookie minicamp Friday until Sunday.
One of the Red Raiders’ best all-around former athletes missed his senior graduation while competing in the Class 3A discus at the 2016 IHSA Boys Track and Field State Meet. His first ISU commencement, in 2020, was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a weird situation,” McCloyn said. “I was scheduled to go to my commencement ceremony on May 7 this weekend. And I got the call that they wanted me at rookie minicamp, so we’re like, ‘Man, scratch the commencement ceremony. Just email me the degree. I’m going to rookie camp.’
“It would have been a cool experience, but it’s the same weekend for rookie minicamp, it’s nothing new, let’s get on with it.”
McCloyn was part of Huntley’s third-place 4x100-meter relay team as a junior. He took third in the 3A discus as a senior. He took second in the shot put and discus at the Fox Valley Conference Track and Field Meet as a senior.
McCloyn (6-foot, 230 pounds) was primarily a blocking back at ISU. He expects the Bears will look at him similarly and also as someone who can help on special teams.
“I don’t have an agent. I wasn’t really expecting anything coming up. It was kind of a shock,” McCloyn said. “The way it went down, one of their scouting directors called me and asked if I had one. He said it was OK that I didn’t. Then he proceeded to invite me to rookie minicamp, and they gave me details [Sunday]. I’m to report Thursday and do it over the weekend and see what I can do.”
If McCloyn is asked back for another minicamp or OTAs, or if he is asked about a contract as an undrafted free agent, he said he would look to hire an agent.
“They have [undrafted free agents] there, and they have guys they invite out to the minicamps who aren’t signed, but they still want to check them out,” McCloyn said. “I fall underneath that category as a rookie minicamp invitee.
“We were all smiles. We were laughing. This is crazy, I never would have thought some fullback out of Illinois State would have gotten a call. We were just happy about the situation, glad somebody thought of me enough to get a second look. [I] was very appreciative.”
McCloyn has his bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a minor in psychology. He will receive his master’s in psychology of sports and physical activity. He had planned on talking to some of his professors about potential internship or mentorship work dealing with counseling or work as a certified mental performance consultant. Then, he planned on applying for a doctorate program in December.
That may get put on hold awhile longer as McCloyn chases an unexpected opportunity.