McClain might enhance the Gators’ already outstanding springtime performance.

Florida fans are likely well-acquainted with Cormani McClain. Once considered a strong lean towards the Gators, the former five-star cornerback eventually committed to Colorado and Deion Sanders after a whirlwind recruitment. Following one year there, McClain entered the transfer portal in search of a new team.

It appears his new destination might be quite familiar. On May 10, McClain visited Florida’s campus, and he is scheduled for an official midweek visit to Florida from May 14-16, according to Swamp247. If things go well, the Gators could secure McClain for a second time, potentially as a walk-on.


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“Florida’s scholarship roster is full entering the summer, which could lead the Gators to add McClain as a walk-on and supplement the lack of scholarship via NIL, making his non-scholarship status largely a formality,” 247Sports Florida expert Jacob Rudner told CBS Sports.

McClain is currently the top-ranked uncommitted player in the transfer portal, according to 247Sports. Florida’s 2024 transfer class already ranks No. 10 overall, highlighting coach Billy Napier’s effective roster retooling ahead of a challenging fall schedule.

After a rocky start at Colorado, where Coach Sanders publicly criticized McClain’s work ethic, the top cornerback from the 2023 class was pushed into a more significant role late in the season due to injuries in Colorado’s secondary. He started four games and recorded 13 total tackles, including one for a loss, and two pass breakups. Despite becoming somewhat of an enigma in the transfer portal and lacking significant scholarship offers, McClain’s potential makes him an attractive addition for Florida, as he still possesses the traits to develop into an all-conference player.

“After this season, starting cornerback Jason Marshall will be out of collegiate eligibility, and junior Devin Moore will be draft-eligible, so Florida sees a unique opportunity to bolster its depth at the cornerback position with McClain,” Rudner explained. “With improved work ethic and off-field habits, McClain is viewed as a potential superstar, and Florida is confident that it can help him achieve that.”


Florida emerging for Colorado transfer Cormani McClain

Examining McClain’s potential role at Florida

As Rudner mentioned, Florida likely wouldn’t rely on McClain immediately. The Gators have two strong cornerbacks returning: Jason Marshall, a former five-star prospect, and Devin Moore, a potential NFL Draft prospect who could rise with a strong junior season.

Both Marshall and Moore, who have been solid for Florida over the past few seasons, combined for 14 pass deflections last year. Moore notably provided the Gators’ first turnover of the season with an interception in an early upset win against Tennessee.


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Additionally, the Gators have sophomore Ja’Keem Jackson, who is highly regarded by the coaching staff and is expected to see an increased role after participating in 11 games as a true freshman.

Despite this depth, Florida’s pass defense ranked ninth in the SEC, allowing 226.7 yards per game. Adding a talent like McClain, who has the potential to become a superstar if he can harness his abilities, would enhance the secondary’s potential. This move would not only secure a valuable player for the future but also provide a solid option in case of injuries.

What McClain could bring to the Gators

The key word with McClain is upside. While there are questions about his off-field demeanor, his potential is significant enough to overshadow any concerns.

McClain began his high school career as a wide receiver, which helped him develop the ball skills that are highly valued in a modern cornerback. This experience is evident in his high school highlights, where he frequently high-pointed the ball and out-jumped offensive players to secure turnovers or break up passes.

At 6-foot-2, McClain has the ideal frame for a boundary corner, complemented by his long arms and elite speed. As an underclassman in high school, he ran a laser-timed 4.5-second 40-yard dash, a time that has likely improved with age, conditioning, and weight room development.

Although he needs further technical development due to his relative inexperience at the defensive back position, his natural progression in a college program should address this. With his physical tools and continued growth, McClain has the potential to become an all-conference player if he can put everything together.

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