Photo: Corey Raymond; Credit: Alex Shepherd
When Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier was introduced as the team's next head coach, he promised the Gator Nation an "army" when describing his incoming coaching staff.
The staff would consist of assistants who have gotten recognition around the college football world as some of the best in the game.
"We're going to hire an army of people here," Napier said on Dec. 5 last year. "We're going to create an infrastructure not only in the personnel department but also from an on-campus recruiting, creative media, name, image and likeness. We're going to create -- we've got a great vision for the organization that we're going to create here."
Napier, of course, was referring not only to the assistant coaches that he would eventually lock-in but also to the enormous support staff - comprised of 48 individuals that were eventually brought on to help build out the staff.
With that said, over the next couple of weeks, we at AllGators will be releasing profiles to get to know each assistant coach, including their background, recruiting history, quotes and more.
We'll start off with perhaps the best hire Napier made in terms of pedigree, ability and prestige: assistant head coach - defense and cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond.
Raymond, 52, was hired by Napier on Dec. 8 last year after spending the last 10 years with the LSU Tigers as the program's DB/CB coach, among other roles over the years.
He began his coaching career as a DB coach for New Iberia Senior High School (2003), before moving on to Westgate HS as the school's defensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coach (2004-05).
After that, Raymond began his collegiate coaching career with LSU as an intern (2006) and an assistant strength and conditioning coach (2007-08) before landing at Utah State (2009-10, CB coach) and finally Nebraska (2011, DB coach).
Raymond began his journey in football as a player, a CB for LSU, and was a three-year starter in the secondary for the Tigers from 1989-91. He would play six years in the NFL after being signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent, spending three years with the club before spending another three years with the Detroit Lions.
Over the course of his career, Raymond was listed as the primary recruiter for 26 players, primarily during his time at LSU, according to 247Sports.
Among the 26 that he landed, these players stood out: Derek Stingley, Kevin Toliver II, Eli Ricks, Jamal Adams, Kelvin Joseph, Grant Delpit and Mohammed Seisay.
Raymond also had a hand in bringing in players such as JaCoby Stevens, Kristian Fulton, Tre'Davious White, Donte Jackson, Greedy Williams and Patrick Queen.
All of the players listed above have gone on to play in the NFL, and most were coached up by Raymond himself, who is one of the more successful developers of young talent in college football.
How it's going:
Although Raymond has only been with the Gators since late last year, he's already making a positive impact on Florida football. He served as a key recruiter alongside safeties coach Patrick Toney to land SI All-American's No. 3 safety in the class of 2022, Kamari Wilson, two weeks into the job during the early signing period in December 2021.
Raymond continues to act as a key recruiter for UF and has the Gators firmly in contention for the nation's No. 1 2023 cornerback, and arguably overall prospect, In Lake Gibson's (Fla.) Cormani McClain, among numerous other top recruits at his position.
Raymond's group also impressed during UF's spring game in April, perhaps best showcased by recent Georgia cornerback transfer Jalen Kimber intercepting a pass and breaking up two more.
"I know the players respect him because he’s very good at what he does. He has a pedigree. He has a track record. The more you get to know Corey the more you get to know he cares about people. He does a good job communicating with his guys, and he’s a fantastic teacher." - Gators head coach Billy Napier on Corey Raymond.
Stay tuned to AllGators for continuous coverage of Florida Gators football, basketball and recruiting. Follow along on social media at @SI_AllGators on Twitter and Florida Gators on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.