Cormani McClain, after taking shots at Colorado, transfers to Florida

The Colorado Buffaloes have been losing a lot to the transfer portal, but this may be their biggest hit yet.

Cornerback Cormani McClain, who chose the Buffaloes after initially committing to the University of Miami, is headed to Gainesville to play for the Florida Gators.

McClain was widely regarded as a top recruit in his class, as ESPN ranked him No. 4 in the entire country. He was the top cornerback in his class.

Cormani McClain waits for play

Cormani McClain #1 of the University of Colorado Buffs prepares for a play at the line of scrimmage in the third quarter against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Mountain America Stadium on Oct. 7, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Bruce Yeung/Getty Images)

“I play DB and Coach Prime is the best DB. I wanna be in the same shoes, same predicament, gold jacket, everything,” McClain told 247Sports when he committed to the Buffs back in January 2023. “Get coached by the best DB. Why not?”

Well, McClain will now head back to his home state.

McClain grew up in Lakeland, Florida, and attended Lakeland Senior High School, roughly 120 miles south of The Swamp.

He started in four games for Colorado this past season, appearing in nine. McClain is the fourth defensive back to head to Florida via the portal.

McClain entered the portal earlier this year, and seemed to throw some parting shots at Colorado.

“I feel like I just don’t want to play for clicks. I actually want to be involved with a great leading program that’s going to develop players,” McClain said in a YouTube video he posted announcing his decision to enter the portal, which was titled “Next Step.”

Cormani McClain walks

Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Cormani McClain (1) makes his way through the tunnel for warmups before playing the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium Sept. 23, 2023. (Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


McClain added that he wants to “change the narrative surrounding my name and be a part of a real and great program that’s going to impact me to the best of my ability.”

“I’m always in prayer for our young men, and I want the best for them,” Deion Sanders said in an interview with DNVR. “I pray to God that he goes to a program that challenges him, as well as hold him accountable and develop him as a young man.

“Unfortunately, we weren’t the program that could accomplish that, so preferably he understands that this is the second go-round and get it — go get it, man, because he has a tremendous amount of talent. But he has to want it.”

Sanders’ comment infers that McClain didn’t give the best effort last season, when he had 13 total tackles and two passes defended in nine games. 

As for McClain’s comment about not wanting to play for clicks, the Buffaloes were certainly a massive headline at the beginning of the college football season after defeating then-ranked TCU, a team that made the national title game the year before, and going 3-0 to start the new campaign. 

But the headlines only got worse, as Colorado struggled, going 1-8 after their hot start and finishing last in the Pac-12. 

Cormani McClain looks on field

College Football: Colorado Cormani McClain (1) in action, looks on vs Arizona at Folsom Field. Boulder, CO 11/11/2023 (Jamie Schwaberow/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

With the Pac-12 dissolving entering the 2024-25 collegiate season, the Buffaloes will be joining the Big 12 Conference.  

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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