Big 12 News

Deion Sanders Explains Why Colorado Lost Former Five-Star Recruit Cormani McClain

Oct 7, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders walks the sidelines as his team takes on the ASU Sun Devils at Mountain America Stadium.

When Deion Sanders and Colorado flipped Cormani McClain from Miami to cap off their 2023 class, it was one of the biggest wins of Coach Prime’s time in Boulder.

The vision was for the five-star DB to play opposite Travis Hunter and give the Buffaloes the best cornerback duo in the nation. After all, McClain said that he was spurning his commitment to Miami to “get coached by the best DB,” Prime Time himself.

Now, the former five-star is in the transfer portal as part of a mass exodus from the Colorado program. So, what happened? Coach Prime says that the Buffaloes’ program might not be right for McClain.


In an interview with DNVR Buffs, Deion opened up about why McClain saw it best for him to leave Colorado and enter the transfer portal.

“I’m always in prayer for young men, and I want the best for them,” Sanders said on Wednesday. “And I pray to God that he goes to a program that challenges him as well as holds him accountable and develops him as a young man. Unfortunately, we weren’t the program that could accomplish that.

“So prayerfully that he understands that this is his second go-around and get it. Go get it, man. Because he has a tremendous amount of talent, but he has to want it.”


From the sounds of it, Colorado wasn’t the right fit for McClain and from reading the tea leaves, it sounds like the freshman might’ve found that he wasn’t going to have anything given to him just because of his talent level.

Last season, we heard Sanders talk about what McClain needed to do to see the field more, and the main issues that seemed to be holding him back were preparation and punctuality.

“Study, prepare. Study, prepare, be on time for meetings,” Sanders said. “Show up to the darned meetings. Understand what we’re doing as a scheme. Want to play this game. Desire to play this game. Desire to be the best in this game at practice, in the film room and on your own free time.”

It doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines there and see what’s going on.

Wherever McClain ends up, they’ll inherit a player who has all the physical tools to be the next shut down corner in college football, but getting him to put in the work to get there sounds like it might be more trouble than many had hoped.

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