Former Colorado player takes shot at Deion Sanders' football program: 'Don't want to play for clicks'

Cormani McClain, a five-star recruit to Colorado last year, is leaving Deion Sanders’ program and throwing some shots on his way out. 

McClain, the top-ranked cornerback in this past year’s high school class, per 247 Sports, who entered the transfer portal to find a new collegiate home, posted a video on YouTube Saturday where he discussed the Buffaloes’ program under Sanders. 

“I feel like I just don’t want to play for clicks. I actually want to be involved with a great leading program that’s going to develop players,” McClain said in the video, which was titled “Next Step.”


Colorado’s Cormani McClain during the Arizona game at Folsom Field in Boulder on Nov. 11, 2023. (Jamie Schwaberow/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

McClain added that he wants to “change the narrative surrounding my name and be a part of a real and great program that’s going to impact me to the best of my ability.”

Sanders recently commented on McClain’s departure from his program, where he had a subtle shot himself at the corner. 

“I’m always in prayer for our young men, and I want the best for them,” he said in an interview with DNVR. “I pray to God that he goes to a program that challenges him, as well as hold him accountable and develop him as a young man.


“Unfortunately, we weren’t the program that could accomplish that, so preferably he understands that this is the second go-round and get it – go get it, man, because he has a tremendous amount of talent. But he has to want it.”

Sanders’ comment infers that McClain didn’t give the best effort last season, where he had 13 total tackles and two passes defended in nine games. 

Cormani McClain waits for play

Cormani McClain of the University of Colorado Buffs prepares for a play at the line of scrimmage against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Mountain America Stadium on Oct. 7, 2023, in Tempe. (Bruce Yeung/Getty Images)

As for McClain’s comment about not wanting to play for clicks, the Buffaloes were certainly a massive headline at the beginning of the college football season after defeating then-ranked TCU, a team that made the national title game the year before, and going 3-0 to start the new campaign. 

But the headlines only got worse, as Colorado struggled, going 1-8 after their hot start and finishing last in the Pac-12. 

Sanders knows how much the transfer portal can take away from a program, as 12 players entered before the spring window opened. The total for the Buffaloes reached 26 after 14 more entered the portal since that window came around. 

However, Sanders has benefited from the portal, too, adding 86 new players, 53 of whom were transfers, in his first season. 

Cormani McClain walks

Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Cormani McClain makes his way through the tunnel for warmups before playing the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium, Sept. 23, 2023. (Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


Losing a player like McClain, though, with his high ranking, is a tough one to swallow. 

With the Pac-12 dissolving entering the 2024-25 collegiate season, the Buffaloes will be joining the Big 12 Conference.  

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