Deion Sanders pulls off another stunner, Colorado flips 5-star Miami commit Cormani McClain
Deion Sanders and Colorado have officially flipped 5-star Lakeland (Fla.) cornerback Cormani McClain.
McClain announced Thursday night that he is committing to Sanders and the Buffs, via 247Sports’ Carl Reed. The 6-foot-2 corner had been committed to Miami since October, but bypassed signing with the Hurricanes during the Early Signing Period last month.
Now, the Buffs are pairing the 2023 5-star and top-15 national recruit with Travis Hunter — the Composite No. 1 overall recruit in the 2022 class — to form what instantly becomes one of the most intriguing cornerback duos in all of college football.
Breaking News: Cormani McClain announces he has committed to The University Of Colorado to play for Coach Deion Sanders. pic.twitter.com/TxzWKgJivS
— Carl Reed (@CoachReedLive) January 20, 2023
McClain ranks as No. 12 overall prospect in the 2023 class and the No. 3 recruit from the state of Florida, according to the industry-generated 247 Composite. A 5-star, he’s viewed as the best corner in the class. That means CU’s 2023 roster will field each of the last two top-ranked corner recruits.
(McClain had been viewed as the No. 2 overall recruit in the country from September through the end of the calendar year. In the latest rankings update on Wednesday, he was dropped to 12th overall. He’s top-10 in 247Sports’ own rankings.)
Colorado ranked 126th nationally in pass defense last season, yielding 8.7 yards per pass attempt faced. The Buffs allowed 31 passing touchdowns; only two FBS teams in the country allowed more. Hunter and McClain figure to be instant-impact players for a defense that needs significant improvement.
Either could conceivably become NFL Draft picks.
247Sports’ Andrew Ivins had this to say on McClain’s game:
A new-age cornerback prospect that has a chance to be a difference maker at football’s highest levels given his rare blend of size, length and speed. Started prep career off playing primarily wide receiver before being thrust into action on the defensive side of the ball. Excelled right away as a perimeter defender against top Sunshine State competition picking off nine passes as a sophomore and 10 more as a junior. Still very raw from a technical standpoint, but is athletic enough to carry and cover most vertical routes. Leggy transitions aren’t exactly ideal, but has a knack for putting himself in position to make a play at the catch point and can quickly close gaps with an elite burst. Has experience working in both man and off-coverage. Not one to shy away from contact and is a rather spirited as an open-field tackler, but must improve in the boxing ring if he’s going to settle in as a true bump-and-run corner on Saturdays. Tested off the charts as an underclassman posting a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash to go along with a 128-inch broad jump and a 4.3 in the short shuttle. Will need to eventually add mass to a slender frame and continue to refine footwork/technique once enrolled at the school of his choice, but has one of the highest ceilings in the entire class of 2023 given how he moves –and covers– for someone that’s pushing 6-foot-2. Must learn how to block out mistakes and find some inner confidence once adversity hits, but has the physical makeup of a potential impact player for a College Football Playoff contender and a possible early-round NFL Draft selection if he can keep progressing. Could experience some initial growing pains, but freakish traits are worth molding for the long haul.
McClain becomes the 19th known high school pledge for the Buffs in the 2023 cycle. Transfers included, it’s a class that ranks top-20 nationally.
You can view his highlight tape below, via Hudl: