Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes made another big splash on Thursday night.
For the second year in a row, the top-rated cornerback recruit in the country has decided to play for Sanders, as five-star Cormani McClain announced his verbal commitment to the Buffaloes.
McClain, listed at 6-foot-2, 165 pounds, starred at Lakeland (Fla.) High School as a senior. He had been expected to sign a national letter of intent with the Miami Hurricanes when the early signing period began on Dec. 21, but he delayed his decision.
McClain visited CU this past weekend and, via social media on Thursday night, he flipped from the Hurricanes to the Buffaloes. Now, he’ll get a chance to play for Sanders, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who is considered by many as the best cornerback in NFL history. The next signing period begins Feb. 1.
“I play DB, so Coach Prime, he’s the best DB. I just want to be in the same shoes,” McClain said about his decision on a video posted by 247Sports.com. “Get coached by the best DB? Why not?”
A year ago, when Sanders was the head coach at Jackson State, he flipped the top-rated cornerback — and the No. 1 player overall — in the 2022 class, Travis Hunter, from Florida State. Last month, Hunter announced that he is transferring from Jackson State and following Sanders to CU. Rated the No. 1 transfer in this year’s class, Hunter is among several players already on the CU campus.
Now, Hunter and McClain are teaming up, giving the Buffaloes some intriguing star power at cornerback.
McClain is rated the No. 1 cornerback and the No. 12 overall prospect in the country by 247Sports.com. Rivals.com rates McClain as the top corner and the No. 3 overall player in the class.
According to the 247Sports.com database, McClain is the third-highest rated prep recruit by CU since 2000. Running backs Darrell Scott (2008, .9980) and Marcus Houston (2000, .9980) are the only players signed by CU in the last 23 years with a better rating than McClain’s .9950. (Coming out of high school a year ago, Hunter had a .9999 rating).
McClain would be just the fourth five-star signed by CU in the last 23 years and the first since Scott.
McClain has 26 scholarship offers, including from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
He played his sophomore and junior seasons at Lake Gibson (Fla.) High School, recording nine interceptions as a sophomore and six as a junior, according to MaxPreps.com. He also played receiver, catching a combined 54 passes for 915 yards and 11 touchdowns in those two seasons. As a senior, McClain focused on defense and had two interceptions.
With the addition of McClain, CU’s overall 2023 recruiting class (including prep and transfer players) has jumped to No. 19 in the 247Sports rankings.
CU has not had a top-20 class since ranking 15th in 2008 by 247Sports. The Buffs’ highest-rated class since then came in 2017 when they finished at No. 35.