In 2005, injury setbacks to key big men Josh Fraser, Anthony Rocca and Tom Davidson, Cloke would make his debut in front of a 70,000 strong crowd on ANZAC Day against Essendon, where he would make an immediate impact at centre half-forward, having 16 disposals, 8 inside 50's and kicking a goal. He would continue to play good football as an 18-year-old, playing 14 of the next 15 games, before omitted before season's end. He earned an AFL Rising Star nomination in round 10 after several impressive weeks, following 16 touches and two goals against the West Coast Eagles with 15 touches, 6 marks, 4 tackles and a goal against Hawthorn. He managed an inaccurate 10.16 in his debut season, but many behinds coming from outside 50 metres, showing his penetrating left boot.
2006 would see Cloke have an inconsistent season, dropped once, and failing to make immediate returns after late withdrawals twice during the season, playing five games in the VFL and being named emergency three times including the qualifying final. He averaged just over 11 disposals a game and 5 marks, but only kicked 6.12 in 15 matches as a centre half-forward. He was played in the back half in a handful of matches, but was needed inside forward 50. He did however still send the ball inside 50 on numerous occasions, and showed good hands. His turnaround came in rounds 16–19, where he made a return from the reserves. He had 15 touches and 5 marks in defence against West Coast, before standing tall at centre half-forward the next week with a to date career high 22 touches and 12 marks, as well as two goals against Hawthorn. He averaged 17 disposals and 8 marks in the defining month of football.
After an inconsistent first two seasons, Cloke was poised to shrug off second-year blues, and did so with fine fashion in 2007. Cloke would start round one and steadily improve each game, starting at his preferred position, centre half-forward. He played consistent but not eye catching footy early on, before having a productive ANZAC Day match, with 24 disposals, 13 marks, 10 inside 50's and 4 score assists along with 1.3. He would then kick 9 goals in the next four matches, including 16 kicks, 11 marks and 3.4 against Carlton in Round 7. Despite accuracy concerns, which had been a concern since the start of his career, he kicked a goal in fourteen consecutive games, and his close to All-Australian form would progress in the second half of the season. He had 20 disposals, 10 marks and kicked 4 goals against premiers Geelong, followed up by 13 kicks, 11 marks and 3 goals against Essendon. He would prove vital in the finals, being the club's best player in September, which awarded him a surprise Copeland Trophy as the Collingwood best and fairest, just aged 20 years old. His finals campaign saw him average 18 disposals, 11 marks and kicking 7 goals in the three games. He played all 25 matches, leading the club in long kicks (122) and inside 50's (121, 3rd AFL), whilst taking 36 contested marks. His season would be defining, where he would become one of the best forwards in the league, named at #26 in Mike Sheahan's pre-season top 50 for 2008.
Coming off the back of a best and fairest season, Cloke averaged two goals in his first six matches. When injury struck the Magpie camp, Cloke was forced to hold up the forward line with the opposition’s tall defenders covering him for most of the season. On two occasions, Cloke kicked five majors (round six and round 21) highlighting the fact that with a supportive cast in the forward line, the centre-half forward is capable of being a key scoring threat. His best game was against Essendon on Anzac Day taking 14 marks and kicking five goals. The 21-year-old finished sixth in the Copeland Trophy.
After signing a 5-year, multimillion-dollar deal with magpies late in 2012, Cloke started the 2013 AFL season strongly, kicking 4 goals against North Melbourne in Round 1. This was followed by a dominant display in a Round 3 loss to Hawthorn, where he kicked 5 goals. Cloke then kicked a career high 7 goals against Richmond in a best on ground performance, despite dislocating his finger just a day before the game.
While celebrating New Year's Eve in 2008 with some friends, Cloke was hurt in a confrontation with several men while on holidays in a Maroochydore holiday unit above them, after asking them to make less noise.
In mid-2009, Cloke's residence was shot at in the early hours of the morning.
Travis is the son of Collingwood and Richmond footballer David, who played VFL football from 1974 to 1991, for a total of 333 matches. Travis played alongside his two older brothers Jason and Cameron, until the end of the 2006 season where his two brothers were delisted. Cameron however was picked up in the AFL Pre-Season Draft by Carlton, while Jason has been a success for Bendigo and Williamstown in the VFL. In 2010 Cameron moved to Port Adelaide but played only one match before being delisted the same year.