Cormani McClain commits to Florida: Gators land Colorado transfer, No. 1 CB in

Florida has landed a commitment from former Colorado transfer Cormani McClain, a former five-star prospect and the No. 1 cornerback in the Class of 2023, according to 247Sports. McClain has three years of eligibility remaining. McClain heavily considered Florida out of Lakeland (Florida) High School but ultimately decided to join Deion Sanders at Colorado. He was rated as one of the top five recruits in CU history.

However, his first season was marred by off-field issues as Sanders publicly called out McClain’s work ethic and claimed he rarely watched film. He played in nine games but posted just 13 tackles and two passes defended.

Despite the issues, McClain rates as the No. 21 overall player in the transfer class. His addition pushes Florida to the No. 8 overall transfer class with only 14 commits.

247Sports Florida expert Jacob Rudner reports that McClain could arrive on campus as a walk-on as the Gators have all 85 scholarships filled. However, UF could use NIL to fund his attendance at the school, making his walk-on status more of a technicality.

Examining McClain’s potential role at Florida

Florida likely wouldn’t be counting on McClain early on. The Gators return two solid cornerbacks in Jason Marshall, a former five-star prospect in his own right, and Devin Moore, a legitimate NFL Draft prospect who could climb boards with a strong junior season.

Both are home-grown options that have been solid for Florida over the past few seasons. The two combined for 14 pass deflections last season, and Moore gave the Gators their first turnover of the year when he intercepted a pass in an early season upset win against Tennessee.

The Gators also have sophomore Ja’Keem Jackson, who the staff is very high on. He’ll likely see his role increase after playing in 11 games as a true freshman.

Even with that depth at the top, this is a Florida pass defense that ranked ninth in the SEC while allowing 226.7 yards per game. A talent like McClain, who has superstar potential if he can put it all together, would raise the room’s ceiling and give the Gators a great option to not only build on for the future, but turn to if the injury bug hits.

What McClain could bring to the Gators

The word with McClain is upside. There are plenty of questions about his demeanor off the field, but McClain is one of those toolsy prospects that has enough potential to overlook any downsides.

He started his high school career by playing wide receiver, developing the ball skills that coaches desire from a modern cornerback. That past shows in his high school film, where he would often highpoint the ball and out-jump an offensive player to come down with a turnover or broken up pass.

McClain’s 6-foot-2 frame is ideal for a boundary corner and his long arms serve him well in the role. He also has elite speed and a ran a laser-timed 4.5-yard 40-yard dash as an underclassman in high school, a time that’s almost certainly dropped as he’s gotten older and developed more via conditioning and the weight room.

He needs some more technical development, given both of his youth and the fact that he hasn’t played defensive back for as long as most corners at the collegiate level. That development comes naturally for those committed to a college program, and McClain has the floor of an all-conference player if he can put it all together.

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