Colorado football: Flip of 5-star CB Cormani McClain a sign of things to come?

“It’s not the location; it’s the destination.” Those were the words of new Colorado football coach Deion Sanders when asked whether he could attract top recruits to Boulder.

So far, that statement has proven to be correct. Before Coach Prime took over the Buffaloes, they were 68th in recruiting.

Colorado currently sits 20th in recruiting with the fourth-ranked transfer portal class. Prime has done an outstanding job of flipping the roster. The crown jewel of this class is former Miami commit and top-ranked defensive back, Cormani McClain. The Lakeland, Fla., native is the 12th-ranked player and the top cornerback in this recruiting class.

Prime is no stranger to big game hunting for recruits. Last season, he caused an uproar by flipping Travis Hunter from Florida State to Jackson State. Hunter was the No. 1 player in the country last season. Prime has also recruited some star coaches as well. Sean Lewis came over from Kent State to be the offensive coordinator, and Charles Kelly will run the defense.

What should the expectation be for Colorado football in 2023?

There is some question as to whether or not McClain is a plug-and-play starter because of his slender frame (6-foot-2 and 165 pounds). He is also a bit raw and needs to adjust to a higher level of football.

Expect some of the players from Jackson State to have a transitional period as well. McClain and Hunter might not be ready for primetime (pun intended) this season; they have the opportunity to form one of the best cornerback tandems in recent memory.

Prime is amassing elite young talent not just for this season but also for the future. The Buffaloes might not win many games this season, but they are preparing to be a player in a new-look Pac-12 in 2024 and beyond.