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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Gators land former five-star recruit Cormani McClain from transfer portal

McClain was the No. 1-ranked cornerback in the 2023 class

UF head coach Billy Napier and the Gators prepare to enter Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Florida's 24-15 loss to the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.
UF head coach Billy Napier and the Gators prepare to enter Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Florida's 24-15 loss to the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.

The Florida Gators made a splash on Wednesday, landing former Colorado cornerback Cormani McClain from the transfer portal.

McClain is a former five-star recruit, who was ranked as the No. 14 overall player and No. 1 cornerback in the 2023 recruiting class according to 247Sports.

Matt Zenitz of 247Sports broke the news on X before it was officially announced by Hayes Fawcett on X minutes later.

McClain entered the transfer portal on April 18 after his lone season at Colorado. The rising sophomore has four years of eligibility remaining.

He was ranked as the No. 21 overall transfer and the No. 5 cornerback in the portal per 247Sports.

Last season, McClain started in four out of the nine games he appeared in for Colorado, racking up 13 total tackles while breaking up two passes.

The Polk County native out of Lakeland Senior High School was considered a heavy favorite to join the Gators during his original recruitment last offseason, before deciding to commit to Miami in Oct. 2022.

However, as National Signing Day neared, rumors began to swirl regarding his decision, and on Jan. 19 of last year, he officially flipped his commitment to Colorado.

Now, McClain heads to Gainesville, the place many Florida fans thought he was originally destined to end up.

He chose UF over other suitors, such as LSU, Texas and Auburn.

McClain joins a Florida roster that is full of scholarship players entering the summer, which could lead to the Gators adding McClain as a walk-on according to Jacob Rudner of 247Sports.

The 6-foot-2 corner joins a position group headlined by senior Jason Marshall Jr. and junior Devin Moore, both of whom could potentially enter the NFL Draft next season.

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However, despite the depth of the unit, Florida’s pass defense ranked ninth in the SEC last season allowing 226.7 yards per game, so the addition of McClain could offer an upside for Florida’s secondary.

Head Coach Billy Napier has made the portal a priority this offseason, and McClain, the Gators' highest-ranked transfer to date, has brought the Gators up to No. 7 overall in 247Sports recruiting class rankings.

Contact Max Bernstein at mbernstein@alligator.org. Follow him on X @maxbernstein23.

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