Napier confident in 2023 class ahead of 5-star CB Cormani McClain decision

The Florida Gators have put together a top-10 class so far during the 2023 recruiting cycle, but Billy Napier and Co. aren’t done yet. Five-star cornerback Cormani McClain, the top-ranked player in the class not named Arch Manning, will pick between Florida, Alabama and Miami Thursday night, and the experts favor the Orange and Blue heading into decision day.

McClain has been priority No. 1 for the Gators since Napier took over. Bringing in defensive backs coach Corey Raymond immediately made UF a premiere landing spot for cornerbacks and safeties looking to make it to the next level, and McClain is no exception. There’s also a fairly rich history between UF and the Lakeland Dreadnaughts that has the two parties linked.

Experts at both 247Sports and On3 are expecting to see McClain pick up an Orange and Blue hat on Thursday night, but Napier is playing it cool in the days leading up to the decision.

“I like the group that we’ve got committed,” he said regarding the 2023 class on Wednesday. “We need to finish, obviously, secure the ones we have and then close on a few others. We worked extremely hard at it, not only the recruitment process, but the evaluation process. So far, so good.”

Napier’s not just blowing smoke. Even without a commitment from McClain tonight, Florida has the No. 8 class in the country (according to both On3 and 247Sports) with three top-100 recruits locked down. But landing the top defensive back in the class would put Florida on the same recruiting level as the other major powers in the SEC (Alabama and Georgia) and have a ripple effect in the coming year.

There’s also five-star cornerback Desmond Ricks to keep an eye on. While it’s unclear exactly how McClain’s decision will impact Ricks’. The IMG Academy product recently reclassified to the class of 2023 and is among the best in the nation. Landing both would be a huge coup for Florida in the recruiting scene, and Napier’s group has put in the work to make it happen.

Now, we wait.

McClain will decide roughly around 7 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 27.

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