Colorado football needs star second-year ex-flip to take next step

Colorado football needs their star second-year ex-flip to take the next step in 2024, says one analyst.
USC v Colorado
USC v Colorado / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

BuffZone's Brian Howell believes star second-year Colorado football ex-flip Cormani McClain needs to take the next step forward in 2024 to tie the cornerbacks group together.

"(The cornerback position) all starts with Travis Hunter, of course, and the Buffs need sophomore Cormani McClain to take the next step," Howell wrote. "They went out landed Liberty transfer Preston Hodge, however, to upgrade the spot. Omarion Cooper and Carter Stoutmire are talented corners slated to return."

Interestingly enough, despite the two former five-stars in the CB room, Howell believes the Buffs' safeties are one of Colorado's most solid units.

"This appears to be one of CU’s most solid units," Howell prefaced before saying, "With Shilo Sanders, Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig and Trevor Woods back, the Buffs are in great shape. If rising sophomore Jaden Milliner-Jones takes the next step, the Buffs will be loaded at the top. Jahquez Robinson, Myles Slusher and Vito Tisdale are experienced players who could push for starting roles or at least provide good depth."

Cormani McClain not leaving Colorado football for transfer portal deemed impressive

Mike Farrell of the Mike Farrell Sports brand believes it's impressive that McClain hasn't hit the transfer portal yet, and instead appears slated to return to CU for a second season after flipping from Miami in 2023.

"It is quite impressive that Cormani McClain hasn’t hit the portal," Farrell prefaced before saying, "After the Deion call out and with him hailing all the way from Florida I thought he was for sure a flight risk."

McClain and Coach Prime exchanged words back in September, but by November, the latter was publicly stating he was proud of the former.

"He’s been a lot more focused," Coach Prime said of McClain on November 11 (h/t On3). "A lot more understanding of the expectation and what we want from him — that we’ve challenged him tremendously all year long. He stood up to the task over the last, probably, week and a half. I’m really, really proud of Cormani. I really am."

After overcoming a scrutiny-filled spotlight in September 2023 at Colorado, when the pressure was never greater, McClain taking the next step feels only natural considering his development in the latter half of this past season.