On Thursday evening, Lakeland FL recruit, Cormani McClain, sent a Jackson State type shocker across the college football world as he committed to the University of Miami over the likes of SEC competition in University of Florida, which is essentially in his backyard, and University of Alabama.
The 6-2, 165-pound 2023 commit is ranked number two nationally according to the 247Sports Composite and fourth overall by 247Sports. Going into Thursday, most Crystal Balls were in Florida’s favor. However, it was the likes of coaches Jahmile Addae, Demarcus Van Dyke, and of course, Mario Cristobal, who steered McClain to select the U.
Andrew Ivins of 247Sports describes McClain as “a new-age cornerback prospect” and compares him to current Seahawk, Tariq Woolen. Woolen is a reassuring comp as he is off to a hot start in his rookie season in the pros. As to McClain, he has played both ways and is still considered raw at the CB position. Regardless, he’s tested off the charts and has freakish traits that will be useful as he continues to pack on the weight.
Huge get for Mario Cristobal: Five-Star CB Cormani McClain, the nation’s No. 2 recruit, commits to Miami over UF and Alabama, among others. The Canes now have the state of Florida’s top two ranked recruits committed.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) October 27, 2022
The commitment definitely comes as a surprise as the 2022 Canes season has been a disappointment as Miami is currently ranked fifth in the ACC Coastal at 1-2, is 3-4 on the season, and just got whipped by the Duke Blue Devils at home.
Regardless, Miami has remained hot on the recruiting trail since Cristobal got to town as they’re ranked 8th and have two five stars now - McClain and OT, Francis Mauigoa - Florida’s top two ranked recruits. Miami needed some good news and this certainly helps. Recruiting and football are a momentum game so hopefully the train keeps on riding that direction.
As it relates to McClain, the Gators definitely appeared to have the upper hand but there were hints throughout his recruitment that Miami was definitely still in it. In particular, UF coach, Billy Napier, worked with McClain’s coach at Lakeland Lake Gibson, Keith Barefield from 2020-21 while both were at Louisiana-Lafayette. However, this past spring, it was Mario Cristobal who got the invite from Barefield to speak at Lake Gibson’s football banquet. The pitch started there, and according to Gaby Urrutia of 247Sports, Cristobal closed in on McClain hard with Demarcus Van Dyke driving the boat on the recruitment.
Shocker... but, at this point, all the Canes need is some optimism.