Cormani McClain's high school coach made perfect case for Auburn football not to pursue CB in transfer portal

Oct 7, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Cormani McClain (1) against the
Oct 7, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Cormani McClain (1) against the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cormani McClain has heard from a handful of schools since leaving Deion Sanders' Colorado Buffaloes, with one of them being Hugh Freeze's Auburn football program. After losing Nehemiah Pritchett and DJ James to the NFL and J.D. Rhym to the transfer portal, there's a need at CB, but should McClain fill it?

Well, his high school head coach, Lakeland's Keith Barefield, made a pretty convincing case that McClain is not Auburn man material.

"I don't want to say I was necessarily surprised," said Barefield (h/t CBS Sports). "That was a lot of work that I had to do getting him to start doing the right thing. ... He's a kid that grew up and always got away with things because of how good an athlete he was. Some things we did were that first step of taking steps towards it, and kinda warning him about it. Florida kids are going to stretch your limit. They're always gonna fall to the floor of your standards. Whatever that floor is, they're gonna fall to it. That's why I liked Deion for Cormani because I knew Deion wouldn't kiss his butt."

Hugh Freeze doesn't want character issues in his Auburn football program

Freeze declared in March 2023 that he doesn't want to deal with disciplinary issues on the Plains; claiming that it's "not a good sign" if his players are showing up on different lists handed to him by Auburn University.

McClain was reportedly late to meetings repeatedly in Boulder, to the point that Sanders called him out last September after the ex-5-star high school recruit was reportedly late to meetings and didn't show maximum effort in practice.

This feels like a fairly cut and dry case of attitude holding talent back at the Division I FBS level. McClain's best move would be to grow at a smaller program like USF, a program strongly rumored to be in the running for his services, before making the jump to a bigger program later.

Freeze doesn't need to bring in a project as he enters a pivotal second year at AU.