Deion Sanders has always been one-of-a-kind.
That’s just what makes Prime Time, Prime Time.
But while that unique attitude has served him well in the past, it may do Sanders some good to take a lesson or two in his latest role.
Sanders took over as the head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes following the 2022 college football season. The Buffs went just 1-11 in 2022 and were in dire need of a culture change.
But Sanders has brought all that and more since arriving in Boulder.
Colorado has turned over about 75 percent of its roster from 2022, with just over 20 scholarship players returning. “Have no fear,” says Sanders.
He claims that the Buffaloes will be just fine after adding a number of new stars via the transfer portal. But other college coaches don’t seem as convinced.
Max Olson and Bruce Feldman of The Athletic report that several Power 5 coaches and staffers believe Sanders’ roster-building strategy will ultimately end in disaster.
The Athletic spoke with a dozen Power 5 head coaches and recruiting staff members about this unprecedented flip, the risks behind what Colorado is attempting and what it will take for this to succeed. Recruiting staffers spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
One Big 12 director of player of personnel called Sanders’ plan “unreasonable.”
“It is just absolutely unreasonable to think you can sign 25 players out of the spring transfer portal and make your team better,” the Big 12 DPP said, “unless the players they had were just that bad, which I don’t buy. In the end, is the sum of the 25 new guys going to be greater than the sum of the 25 old guys? Man, I don’t know.”
Olson and Feldman also report that recent rule changes could make life harder on Sanders if the trasnfers don’t work out.
There’s a potentially greater issue coming soon. The NCAA is concerned enough about the graduation rate of transfers that they want to hold schools accountable. Starting this year, the undergraduate transfers Sanders signs will have their financial aid guaranteed for their full five-year period of eligibility and count against Colorado’s 85-man scholarship limit until they graduate or go pro.
A separate Big 12 director of player personnel conceded that Sanders could well have a plan. But at the moment, he’s having trouble seeing it.
“It’s unprecedented enough that, like, you could tell me this is gonna lead to them buying the best 25 players in the portal and I guess I’d believe it,” he said. “You could tell me they got rid of the exact amount of guys that they already have silent commitments from prior tampering and I’d believe it. You could tell me that every 10 minutes they’re making a new decision and they’re gonna end up playing next season with 61 scholarship players and I’d believe it. Like, I’ve got no f****** clue.”
Will it work out for Deion Sanders at Colorado? That’s anyone’s guess. But no one can say it’s been boring.