On the same weekend the BYU football program got a commitment from and officially added former 5-star prospect Kingsley Suamataia, a transfer from Oregon who prepped at Orem High, it got some great news from another elite prospect who visited campus.
Cormani McClain is a consensus top prospect from Florida for the Class of 2023 — he is a 5-star prospect and the 10th-best prospect in the entire nation for the class according to 247 Sports and a 4-star and No. 44 in the country according to Rivals — and after visiting Provo over the weekend, he included BYU in a list of the top five schools he is considering at this point.
The others on the list? Alabama, Ohio State, Florida and Miami.
Numerous outlets have reported that McClain also visited BYU in June for a camp. This weekend, he was joined in Provo by some other prospects from Florida, according to multiple outlets.
Given that it was considered an “unofficial visit” for the players, they had to pay their own way to Utah (prospects are allowed five “official visits,” which are paid for by schools).
As Vanquish The Foe’s Robby McCombs observed, McClain released a top five list a few months ago and BYU was not on it at that time.
McClain is teammates at Lake Gibson High in Lakeland, Florida, with Utah Utes running back commit Jaylon Glover, who will be graduating in 2022, a year before McClain.
So what are the chances of McClain actually signing with BYU? First off, there’s a long, long, long way to go until December of 2022 when McClain will be able to sign with any school.
Additionally, this early in the process, many prospects are casting a wide net (remember when Pittsburgh Steelers rookie Najee Harris visited BYU as one of the top prospects in the country before ultimately signing with Alabama?).
Third, the Cougars are clearly up against some very stiff competition. Assuming McClain remains one of the top prospects in the nation over the next year — and he’s ranked so highly that any potential drop-off would be relatively minor — the very best schools in the country will continue to be after him.
All of that being said, the fact that McClain has included BYU in his top five for now is significant, especially in the company of the other four schools he listed. Provo is clearly a place he is strongly considering.
The fact that the Cougars will be in their first season in the Big 12 Conference when McClain is a freshman surely only helps.
Perhaps McClain’s phrasing that his top five schools are the ones showing him the most love isn’t insignificant, either.
Different players choose different schools for a whole host of different reasons, but if McClain highly values going to a place where he’ll be loved, Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake certainly excels in that department.
Regardless, his recruitment will be worth monitoring over the next year.