PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — Ever since Bills cornerback Nick McCloud started playing football, he’s always been on the hunt.

“No matter how good you think you were in high school, there was always somebody better than you,” said McCloud. “You always gotta chase somebody.”

The alumni of McCloud’s South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, South Carolina include 2014 number one overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney and 2018 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore. Role models for sure, but mostly, measuring sticks.

“Just that thought alone has helped me even still now today,” said McCloud. “Knowing I’ve got to chase Steph, knowing I’ve got to chase Clowney. Those guys I want to chase them and be better than them every day.

Gilmore and McCloud are close, with the former Bill giving him the usual Buffalo advice after he signed as an undrafted free agent after a college career at NC State and Notre Dame.

“He told me that it was going to be cold!” said McCloud with a smile.

But also plenty more.

“I can call him, hit him up at any time he’s going to answer right away,” said McCloud. “How to handle your business in every facet of life — watching film, eating the right way, training the right way.

Not only does McCloud have those role models in the football world, but his cousin is NBA Hall of Famer Alex English, who scored more points than any other player in the 80s.

His advice growing up was simple- work hard, put God first, and listen to your parents, and you can achieve anything you want.

“Coming from him who is an NBA great, an NBA legend. That’s one of the first things that really stuck with me and just kind of motivated me to use his words and actually put them into action,” said McCloud.

McCloud was cut by the Bills last season and was picked up by the Bengals, appearing in two games last season. After being cut by the team in November, he landed back on the Bills practice squad.

He’s had a strong training camp this year, with multiple interceptions as he fights for a roster spot.

“Nick has been a pleasant surprise up to this point,” said defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. “We’re pleased with his progress. We liked some of the things he did last year in training camp and this year he’s better.”

McCloud has been moved around in the secondary this training camp and is actually listed on the team’s first depth chart as a safety.

“Whatever I can do to help the team win, that’s what I’m going to do,” said McCloud. “Me being a high-football IQ player, that’s definitely helping me a lot.”

Frazier said that McCloud’s been able to handle learning both positions, now the team is eager to see how he can handle the physicality of the safety position.

McCloud still has his work cut out for him to make the team’s roster, but it’s a fight he’s been preparing for his entire life.