First-year Colorado Buffaloes head coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders has made some big changes since he arrived in Boulder back in December.
The former Jackson State Tigers head coach has brought a buzz to the Rockies that the program hasn’t experienced since the mid-to-late 1990s when it competed for Big 8 Conference and national championships under Bill McCartney.
Deion Sanders Makes Some Enemies Upon Arrival
But Sanders’ arrival didn’t come without some blowback for his approach on how he’s rebuilding the roster.
Sanders wasted no time telling players from the 2022 team, which went 1-11 on the field, that hitting the transfer portal might be their best option. Coach Prime didn’t stop pushing that narrative after the initial meeting, and as a result over 70 players, including 51 scholarship players, have departed the Boulder campus.
While that approach seems to be sitting well with Sanders, coaches around the country have questioned his method, including first-year Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule, who took a subtle jab in April, then proceeded to clean it up. The most recent is Pittsburgh Panthers head man Pat Narduzzi, who hasn’t been a fan of the transfer portal since USC persuaded former Biletnikoff Award-winning wideout Jordan Addison to transfer ahead of the 2022 season.
Narduzzi Calls Out Coach Prime, But What He Did Was Legal
In an interview with 247Sports from the ACC’s spring meetings last week in Florida, Narduzzi didn’t hold back on what he deems as overkill with how Sanders has used the portal.
“That’s not what 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 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.”
Based on how persistent Sanders was in saying he had plenty of new players coming in, it’s safe to say many were either asked to leave or in some cases told to move on. Sanders seems to have taken full advantage of the rule that allows first year coaches to remove players from their active roster as long as they’re on scholarship. That loophole is the highly plausible reason for the Buffaloes huge turnover this offseason.
Coach Prime Added A Ton Of Talent As Replacements
In wake of flipping his entire roster, Sanders went shopping, bringing in a boatload of talent via the portal. In all, the “I Ain’t Hard To Find” and “We Coming” head coach was able to reel in his own son Shedeur Sanders from Jackson State, and he’ll be the starting quarterback come September. He also got 2022 No. 1 overall recruit Travis Hunter to make the trek to Boulder.
Sanders even tapped into his alma mater, FSU to land five of the Seminoles players. In all expect to see a lot of different but talented names on the backs of jerseys when they open the season at reigning national runner-up TCU to begin the 2023 college football season.