BUFFS

Coach Prime strikes gold again, gets another five-star and top CB in USA

Jan 19, 2023, 6:16 PM

There was a lot of buzz when Cormani McClain didn’t show up to his news conference where he would sign with the University of Miami, where he had long been committed to.

Despite recently flashing a U and the deep pockets of other schools making a late run, McClain announced on Thursday he will sign to play for the Colorado Buffaloes this coming fall. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound cornerback is the No. 1 prospect at his position in the country and the ninth-best at any position of the 2023 class.

In his hometown of Lakeland, McClain told 247Sports’ Carl Reed he’s committing to Colorado.

It makes sense that the country’s best young defensive back wants to play for a Hall of Fame cornerback.

The drama of his recruitment was a spectacle down to the last minute with the Miami coaching staff showing up to his school last Friday only to find McClain not there. Instead he was already in Colorado touring the facilities.

McClain is the 19th high school prospect in Coach Prime’s first class and raises the 24/7 Sports class ranking from No. 44 to No. 29 Including transfers the Buffaloes are No. 19 for incoming talent in the country according to the service.

McClain will be Colorado’s highest-rated signee since 2008, when the No. 4 overall prospect in the country Darrell Scott chose the Buffaloes. The hiring of Deion Sanders has changed everything in Boulder as the Buffaloes reimagine what is possible.

It’s the second big surprise from Sanders in as many years and each time it’s benefited the Buffs. In December he got 2022’s best prospect and former two-way Jackson State star Travis Hunter to come to Colorado, he flipped him late in the cycle a year ago from his alma mater Florida State.

Between Hunter and McClain the Buffs will field the best cornerback from each of the last two classes on either side of the field this fall.

McClain picked off nine passes as a sophomore, 10 more interceptions as a junior and two more as a senior for Lakeland High School in Florida. He finished off his prep career by playing in the Under Armour All-American Game.

Isaiah Oliver was the last notable defensive back to play for Colorado, going in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He finished a run of a few great DBs playing for the school including Tedric Thompson, Ahkello Witherspoon and Chidobe Awuzie, who were all selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Buffs last first-rounder in the NFL Draft was also a DB, in 2011 when Jimmie Smith was selected by the Ravens and Nate Solder, a tackle, went a few picks ahead. Between Hunter and McClain, Colorado could finally break through to the first round again very soon.

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Coach Prime strikes gold again, gets another five-star and top CB in USA