Cam McCormick Van Wilder? College Football player granted record ninth year of eligibility

By Robert Lutz

MIAMI, FL. — In a scenario reminiscent of National Lampoon’s character Vance “Van” Wilder, who famously extended his college experience, Miami Hurricanes tight end Cam McCormick has announced his return for an unprecedented ninth season of college football. Like the fictional Van Wilder, McCormick’s college career has been notably lengthy, though for different reasons. McCormick, 25 years old and turning 26 in April, has had an interminable adventure in college football, marked by perseverance through adversity.

Starting his collegiate football career at Oregon in 2016, McCormick, a three-star recruit from the 2016 class according to 247Sports, has overcome multiple season-ending injuries. These setbacks, including a broken ankle and a torn Achilles tendon, caused him to miss significant playing time, notably the entire 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons. His situation is unique as the ACC approved his waiver for a ninth season of eligibility, a decision reported by ESPN.

The 6-foot-5 McCormick made significant contributions in his first season with Miami, catching eight passes for 62 yards in all 13 games, including eight starts. His perseverance has been a hallmark of his college career, which began with a redshirt year in 2016 due to rhabdomyolysis, a severe condition caused by damaged muscle tissue releasing proteins and electrolytes into the blood, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite the challenges, McCormick’s stats show a resilient athlete: 26 career receptions for 231 yards and four touchdowns, with a notable performance in 2022 where he recorded 10 receptions for 66 yards and three touchdowns. His return to Miami for the 2023 season saw him add eight receptions for 62 yards.

McCormick’s extended college career and his determination to overcome physical setbacks mirror the fictional Van Wilder’s extended stay in college for very different reasons. This comparison highlights McCormick’s unique journey in NCAA football, making him a notable figure in the sport.