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Nation’s top CB recruit earns new player comparison from Gators coach

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When cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond left the LSU Tigers to coach under Billy Napier at the University of Florida, many assumed the nation’s top defensive backs would follow him. That assumption came true with five-star safety Kamari Wilson in the 2022 cycle, and Raymond seems locked in on landing the highest-rated defensive player in the upcoming 2023 class, five-star cornerback Cormani McClain.

McClain had the Gators near the top of his list before the coaching changes took place, but bringing in one of the most respected coaches in all of college football hasn’t hurt UF one bit. Raymond’s track record speaks for itself. At LSU, he sent 14 players to the NFL Draft, including four first-rounders — Derek Stingely Jr. in the most recent draft, Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White in 2017 and Eric Reid in 2013. Let’s not forget about Tyrann Mathieu, either, who has more than made a name for himself in the pros.

Raymond sees McClain as the next potential name on that list, and perhaps the first to come at UF.

“Coach C-Ray, me and him got a great relationship. I think it’s there,” McClain said to Gators Online. “He produced a lot of great athletes. I look up to coach C-Ray as one of those guys that you know is going to get you to the league and the things you need to get there…

“He compared me to the most recent LSU DB, Stingley.”

The duo may get a chance to reunite as soon as the end of the month for Florida’s Friday Night Lights camp and recruiting cookout. Nothing is finalized yet, but McClain is expected to turn up over the weekend.

When it comes to making a decision, he plans to do so in December and will choose whoever he feels can develop him the best. That could mean that Raymond is the deciding factor when it comes down to it.

McClain is ranked No. 2 overall on the On3 consensus and is No. 1 in the state of Florida and among cornerbacks in the class of 2023.

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