Big Flip | Travis Hunter And Cormani McClain Give Deion Sanders The Best Pair Of Cover Corners In College History

Deion Sanders arrived at Colorado with plenty of fanfare. But not many believe success will come as expeditiously as it did upon his arrival at Jackson State University in 2020.

Almost from the door, Sanders dominated competition to the tune of 27-6, including back-to-back SWAC championships and back-to-back appearances in the Celebration Bowl. But that was FCS competition, and this step up at Colorado to Power Five FBS competition is a different beast.

Will Coach Prime Win At Colorado Right Away?

But don’t tell Coach Prime that he won’t be successful right away after bringing in over 20 transfers, including seven from his time at Jackson State. That is currently good enough for the 39th-ranked composite recruiting class and 24th-ranked overall in college football. His transfer class ranked third in the nation. 

Travis Hunter And Cormani McClain An All-Time Great Tandem?

Sanders secured the 55th-ranked class during his first recruiting class at JSU, and then turned around and shocked all of college football when he flipped Travis Hunter, the nation’s No. 1 ranked recruiter to JSU. Now he’s added Cormani McClain, the nation’s top corner and defensive player and No. 9 overall recruit in the 2023 recruiting class.

Adding McClain gives the Buffaloes the best cornerback tandem in the country. Both players are among the Top 10 highest-rated high school cornerbacks ever, with Hunter coming in at No. 1 and McClain falling in at nine. The Pac-10 is a passing league with NFL -caliber quarterbacks and receivers. In an era where offenses throw the ball about 62 percent of the time and rising, cover dawgs like these are non-negotiable.

The tandem should undoubtedly expedite Colorado’s rise to contender in a Pac-12 conference that is a tier down from the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 right now.  

DB Coach Kevin Mathis Is Salivating

When Coach Prime took the job at Jackson State, he brought former teammate and 10-year NFL veteran Kevin Mathis with him to coach the defensive backs. Mathis was with Sanders at the now-defunct Prime Prep, and despite not having a ton of experience he did an admirable job at JSU. It helps to have arguably the greatest cornerback to ever touch the gridiron assisting the game plan. Sanders has raved about Mathis’ coaching style and understanding of the position.

Nation’s No. 2 Overall Recruit Postpones Signing With Miami After Reported Talk With Deion Sanders | Another Flip?


Sanders is compiling an impressive list of recruits in a very short amount of time, as only he can do. Flipping McClain is the power move of 2023.

Miami Recruit Cormani McClain Flips And Signs Signing With Colorado

Steve Wiltfong, director of recruiting for 247Sports, recently gave a detailed breakdown of McClain’s interest in heading to Boulder prior to Coach Prime completing the flip. 

“I just want to say that this is not a shocker,” Wiltfong said of McClain’s interest with Colorado. ”When Deion Sanders and Jackson State flipped Travis Hunter, that was one of the biggest shockers in recruiting history. Not that Travis Hunter opted to play for Jackson State, a program on the rise, for arguably the greatest cornerback of all time in Deion Sanders…Just that no one saw it coming is what made it a shocker. Cormani McClain and Colorado, this is something that’s been developed and brewing for a month now.

Now they get him out to campus. A chance to spend time with the staff and again, the intrigue to play for Deion Sanders.”

No more speculation time for Mathis and Sanders, time to start constructing defense.

As a defensive backs coach, Mathis has two potential first-round NFL studs who can cover and be put on an island, allowing defensive coordinator Charles Kelly to bring more pressure.

Buffaloes Open The Season At TCU

To kick off his CU coaching career, Sanders will return to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where he’s made his home since his days with the Dallas Cowboys. The Buffaloes will clash with an elite opponent and very tough draw in CFP national championship runner-up TCU. Head Coach Sonny Dykes arrived in Horned Frogs land in 2021, after the university interviewed Sanders while he battled foot and ankle issues in the hospital.

Should be an interesting clash, with TCU having already arrived, and Colorado hoping to arrive sooner than later. Finalizing the signing of McClain will expedite Colorado’s development under Sanders.

Back to top