Still Hating On Coach Prime? Pitt Coach Pat Narduzzi Talks Greasy About Deion Sanders’ Usage Of The Transfer Portal, But Deion Says He Doesn’t Even Know What The Guy Looks Like

Summer is almost here, and as the 2023 college football season approaches, there isn’t a bigger story at The Shadow League than what’s already taken place at Colorado, and what their first season under Pro Football Hall of Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion Deion Sanders will look like.

Since his arrival in December, Sanders has been busy overhauling a Buffaloes roster that went 5-19 in the two seasons prior to his hiring, including 1-11 in 2022. 

From day one, Sanders, the walking sound bite, has been adamant that he was gonna make wholesale changes, and that he did in bringing in over 48 transfers, and having 58 transfer out of Boulder. Sanders’ approach rubbed some folks the wrong way, including Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi who last month questioned Sanders for his actions. 

During last month’s ACC meetings, Narduzzi told 247Sports this;

“That’s not the way it’s meant to be. That’s not what the rule intended to be. It was not to overhaul your roster. We’ll see how it works out but that, to me, looks bad on college football coaches across the country.

“The reflection is on one guy right now but when you look at it overall — those kids that have moms and dads and brothers and sisters and goals in life — I don’t know how many of those 70 that left really wanted to leave or they were kicked in the butt to get out.”

Sanders took advantage of a rule that allows first-year head coaches to cut players from the football roster, although the school is still on the hook for their scholarships. 

Coach Prime Responds To Narduzzi

While it took Sanders a bit to respond, the one-time NFL DPOY did so in a recent interview with the aforementioned 247Sports. 

“What was his situation when he came to Pitt? He had a different situation than me,” Sanders told 247Sports when asked about Narduzzi’s criticism of his roster overhaul. 

“He is not mad at me, he is mad at the situation in football now that allowed his best player to leave a year ago. He’s not mad at me, he’s using me to shoot bullets at another coach who he has an issue with. I don’t know who he is; if he walked in here right now I wouldn’t know him.”

Sanders is speaking of former Pitt Panthers wide receiver and 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner (top receiver in CFB) Jordan Addison transferring to USC to play for Lincoln Riley ahead of the 2022 season. That still stings a bit, because Narduzzi also lost his quarterback, Kenny Pickett at the same time as he entered the NFL draft, being taken 20th overall by the neighboring Pittsburgh Steelers. During the 2021 season Narduzzi’s Panthers won the ACC championship as well. 

Also when Narduzzi took over in 2015, he inherited a team that had just played in a bowl game, losing to the Houston Cougars 35-34 in the Armed Forces Bowl. 

Sanders Says There’s No Comparing The 2022 Team To The 2023 Version

When you make as many changes as Sanders has there’s no way the teams will mirror one another from a talent standpoint, and that’s why the moves were made at such a high volume. It was about upgrading the talent on the roster, and Sanders feels as if he and his coaching staff have done just that.

“Apples and oranges. You can’t compare the two. You are talking about a situation in which you inherited a team that was 1-11. And everyone knows there are gonna be some changes. I don’t understand how you would  think the coaching staff is the only thing that deserved a change.

“Now when you rid of the entire coaching staff, you think you are going to keep all the kids? That doesn’t make sense to me. And that just doesn’t make sense whatsoever when the previous staff was responsible for securing those kids. That’s no the way this game is played with us.”

Coach Prime is doing it his way. Sept. 2 in Fort Worth, Texas, versus national runner-up TCU is where we’ll see if all the changes begin to pay dividends in between the lines. 

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