football Edit

Cormani McClain's recruitment is a hot topic at the UA Game

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.Cormani McClain walked into the interview room here at the Under Armour Next All-America Game earlier in the week and the media swarmed.

But the five-star cornerback from nearby Lakeland, Fla., said he was not doing any interviews, further muddying an already confusing situation about where his recruitment stands and what transpired on National Signing Day in late December.


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On Tuesday night of that week, McClain’s mother tweeted that her son would be signing the following day. He’s been committed to Miami since late October so it looked great for the Hurricanes.

But on NSD morning, everyone was caught by surprise when McClain no-showed at Lakeland, deciding not to sign and surprising his own coaching staff who had a cake prepared for him among the signing day festivities.

A coach there was surprised when a reporter called him as he was driving over to Lakeland for McClain’s ceremony when asked why the five-star had decided not to sign.

Since that time, it has been discussed that new Colorado coach Deion Sanders had reached out to McClain’s camp and possibly convinced them to hold off. But it’s unclear how serious the Buffaloes have gotten since that first communication and where that relationship stands now.

There has been talk this week from numerous players that McClain will eventually sign - and many believe it will be with the Hurricanes. The middle of January has been a targeted time for the final decision to be made.

“It’s probably stressful for him because he didn’t sign the day he was supposed to sign,” Alabama running back signee Richard Young said. “Everybody trying to figure out where he’s going, this and that, so it’s hard for him right now but he’s going to make the right decision sooner or later.”

Texas running back signee Cedric Baxter said: “We were messing with him last night. We’ve all been through this recruiting process, we’re all big-time recruits, we know how it is. We were telling him to do what’s best for him. Nobody knows what he’s going to do but him so that’s how I look at it, he’s got to do what’s best for him.”

On signing day, there were two haywire storylines. One was five-star safety Peyton Bowen announcing for Oregon only to never send in the paperwork, return home with his family and then sign with Oklahoma. The other was McClain not signing at all.

The Lakeland standout remains the only committed but unsigned five-star in the 2023 class. Tight end Duce Robinson and athlete Nyckoles Harbor are the only five-stars who remain uncommitted but there is a plan to sign in February for both.

“Dude’s just a different guy,” Florida cornerback signee Sharif Denson said.

“At one point he was a Florida lock and then he was a Miami commit and then he wasn’t going. I don’t know. I hope the best for him because that’s my friend but you just have to go somewhere and work. That’s the only way to get what you want to get.”