Florida football recruiting: Cormani McClain makes way back around to Gators, joining as transfer

By OnlyGators.com Staff
May 15, 2024
Florida football recruiting: Cormani McClain makes way back around to Gators, joining as transfer
Football

The recruitment of former five-star 2023 cornerback Cormani McClain (Lakeland, FL) was a whirlwind to say the least. Though the Florida Gators struck out on the prized prospect last offseason, 15 months after he put pen to paper and signed with the Colorado Buffaloes, he has decided to join the program that was once expected to land him long ago.

McClain on Wednesday announced that he will transfer from Colorado to Florida, continuing his collegiate career about 120 miles from his hometown. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound standout started four of nine games he played as a freshman, recording 13 total tackles and two pass breakups.

McClain, the top remaining player in the transfer portal, visited Florida last week and returned this week for meetings with head coach Billy Napier and the staff. He has three years of eligibility remaining.

Then a major coup by CU head coach Deion Sanders, McClain stood as the Buffaloes’ top signee two recruiting cycles ago. He was long expected to pledge to Florida at a commitment ceremony only to change his mind and choose to attend Miami in what was deemed a massive surprise at the time. However, McClain never signed on the dotted line with the Hurricanes, pushing his decision from the early signing period to the traditional National Signing Day with Colorado ultimately earning his signature.

McClain did not see the field as much as he hoped last season, nor did he gain the muscle most believed he needed to amass to compete effectively at the college level. As such, his departure from CU was hardly a surprise given 41 Colorado players entered the transfer portal since the conclusion of the season.

Despite his freshman campaign not going as expected, McClain was listed as the 21st-best player in the transfer portal by 247Sports. He was previously the No. 14 overall prospect in the Class of 2023.

In an interesting twist, there are reports that McClain may join Florida as a walk-on. Given the Gators are already over the scholarship count entering the 2024 season, McClain’s tuition, room, board, books and other expenses would likely be paid via NIL funding. This is a strategy many teams have utilized nationally, and the expectation is that McClain will get on scholarship before his junior year.

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