No sooner than Deion Sanders was announced as the new head coach of Colorado University, the whispers began about his son Sheduer Sanders.
Would his star QB at Jackson State University also make a move with his father and double the pain for JSU? Sanders gave the world an answer, although it came with a caveat for young “Prime Time.”
On Sunday, Deion announced that Shedeur Sanders will be the Buffaloes’ starting quarterback in 2023, but he will “have to earn it.”
“Where’s Shedeur? This is your quarterback,” Sanders said when asked during the press conference. “He’s gonna have to earn it, though.”
Deion Sanders introduces his son Shedeur in his opening statement:
“That’s your quarterback.”
— Grace Remington (@GraceRemiTV) December 4, 2022
Nepotism Or Smart Move?
Sanders became the 28th head coach in Colorado football history and “Coach Prime” basked in the new challenge alongside Chancellor Phillip P. DiStefano and athletics director Rick George on Sunday. He met his new team for the first time and was greeted by a round of applause when he walked into the initial meeting, signaling their excitement over their new leader.
The next question is how Colorado’s current offense will feel about competing for the top slot or even time against the son of Coach Prime; will the hint of nepotism spoil the locker room and Shedeur’s chances to lead the team?
Shedeur Sanders vs J.T. Shrout
Shedeur spent the past two years playing for his father at Jackson State, and this past season, he threw for more than 3,400 yards while adding another 175 yards on the ground. Shedeur tossed 36 touchdowns with only six picks and completed 70 percent of his passes. He surpassed 3,200 passing yards in both seasons with at least 30 touchdown passes.
Colorado’s primary quarterback this season is redshirt sophomore J.T. Shrout who transferred from Tennessee. In nine games, Shrout had more interceptions than touchdowns and totaled only 1,220 passing yards with a completion percentage of under 50 percent. Shrout has had his moments.
He came off the bench against California and threw the game-winning touchdown in overtime, completing eight of his 12 pass attempts for 69 yards and a touchdown. He also completed 13 of 23 passes for 157 and a touchdown against CFB Playoff contender TCU.
2022 SWAC Offensive Player of the Year, Shedeur Sanders
— The 1400 Klub (@1400Klub) December 1, 2022
Must Be The Money?
Weaving Shedeur into the lineup of a 1-11 team at the bottom of the PAC-12 is the least of his problems. Sanders is still figuring out how to shake the stigma by many members of the Diaspora that he is leaving Jackson State University and the HBCU football system he helped resurrect to cash in on his college football coaching exploits. He quickly explained it to his former team on Saturday after the Tigers beat Southern in the SWAC championship game in Jackson, Mississippi.
Why Did Deion Sanders Leave Jackson State?
“In coaching you either get elevated or you get terminated,” Sanders told his team. “There ain’t no graveyard for coaches where they die at the place. They either going to run you off or you going to walk off.”
At the beginning of the 2022 season, 15 Black head coaches were among 131 Football Bowl Subdivision schools, only 11% of the total. That number dropped to 11 when Herm Edwards and Colorado’s Karl Dorrell were fired during the season. Additionally, Willie Taggart was dismissed by Florida Atlantic after the season, and Stanford’s longtime coach David Shaw resigned.
“It’s not about a bag,” Sanders said. “It’s about an opportunity.”
Both Coach Prime and young Prime Time are hopeful that Boulder will bring them opportunities to widen the playing field.