It was a huge deal when Coach Prime got five star corner Cormani McClain to flip his commitment from Miami to Colorado. Many expected McClain to start as a true freshman and play a big role within the Buffs’ secondary. However, that hasn’t been what’s played out. McClain didn’t see the field at all in CU’s first three games. He only got playing time late into week four’s game because the Buffs were being blown out by Oregon. Coach Prime was asked what is holding Cormani back from playing last week and he gave a very blunt answer.
“He is.” said Coach Prime
This response caused quite a few Buffs fans to panic. Some showed concern that something was maybe going on behind the scenes, while others pointed out that Cormani is only 18 and has only been on campus for a few months. The general consensus was just that Cormani wasn’t quite ready to see the field yet. During his press conference this week, Coach Prime elaborated on the situation and it doesn’t sound good for McClain. Coach Prime was asked what he wants to see Cormani do before he gets play time and gave us a glimpse at some potentially work ethic issues
“[I want to see Cormani] study, prepare, be on time for meetings, show up to the darn meetings, understand what we are doing as a scheme, want to play this game, desire to play this game, and desire to be the best in this game at practice and in the film room,” said Coach Prime in a seemingly frustrated tone. “You do know that I check film time for each player upon the week? Thursday, I need film times from the whole staff so I can see who’s been preparing.”
That statement is a lot to unpack and none of it is good. Prime is pretty clearly not pleased that McClain isn’t giving it his all. If Cormani truly isn’t watching film and skipping meetings, that is officially a cause for concern.
Coach Prime may have no choice but to play McClain this week, despite the behind the scenes issues. Colorado’s secondary is stretched extremely thin going into week five against eighth ranked USC. Star cornerback Travis Hunter is out due to a lacerated liver and safety Shilo Sanders is currently questionable due to a speculated internal organ injury as well. If the Buffs are without their two best players in the secondary, Cormani might see the field against the Trojans.
Hopefully, these harsh words from Coach Prime prove to be a kick in the butt to jumpstart Cormani. Getting called out in a press conference by your head coach probably isn’t super fun and could be a major motivator for McClain moving forward. Today’s statement by Coach Prime may be exactly what the young cornerback needs to get back on track.