"He had told me about it," said Staples, who was recruited to UAB by McGee, who was the head coach of the Blazers before coming to U of L.
But the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Staples said he was still "even more impressed."
"I enjoyed the city and the campus and just everything," he said. "I really liked it a lot. They're both played I can see myself playing."
Staples is expected to make a decision on his future "probably by the end of the week," and will pick either U of L or Auburn. He made a visit to Auburn the previous week.
"It's been a pretty hectic time," he said. "I just want to sit down and make the best decision for me and like I said it seems like they're both great places.
"Coach McGee will be a factor but I don't know how big of a factor."
Staples said his relationship with McGee is "just great" after being recruited to UAB by the U of L offensive coordinator and play one season for him.
"I just need to keep praying on my decision and hopefully God will show me a sign," Staples said. "I'm just looking for a sign."
Playing right away for the Blazers during the 2013 season, the Lineville, Ala., Clay County Central High School standout was second on the team with 31 catches for 458 yards and four touchdowns in eight starts.
As a sophomore, Staples only played in nine games because of injury and finished with nine catches for 190 yards and a touchdown.
Staples said he is 100 percent now and "ready to go" for spring ball at the school he picks. He'll enroll in January and be eligible for two seasons.