Deion Sanders: Primed for Kickoff – The American Spectator

The budding narrative of this season’s college football landscape can be found not in Georgia, Alabama, or State College, Pennsylvania — even though the Nittany Lions should be formidable — but rather about 1,500 miles due west in Boulder, Colorado. 

The Colorado Buffaloes football team will not only kick off their 100th season at historic Folsom Field, a longtime beloved venue in college football, but they will have a new sheriff in town calling the plays from the sidelines in Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders(READ MORE: End of the Brady Rule)

Sanders has inspired the treatment for the next blockbuster Netflix series:  Sporting a typical cowboy hat, Sanders could easily pass for a modern-day Buffalo soldier who is no General  Custer. Rather, Sanders is a Christian, conservative, old school, southern black football coach who brings his panache, energy, and discipline to a lily-white liberal university in a state overrun with marijuana outlets.

Sanders, better known among the gridiron cognoscente as Coach Prime, earned his way to Colorado after having phenomenal success at Jackson State in Mississippi winning two Southwestern Athletic Conference championships in three seasons. Colorado won one game last year, while losing the remaining 11 by an average of 32 points. With the Sanders era underway much has changed in Boulder, especially expectations. 

In a program that had more corners of need than there are peaks throughout the Rocky Mountains — which surround this picturesque campus — Sander’s arrival in December witnessed an incredible 71 players from last year’s roster depart Boulder.  

Sanders was not shy in laying down the law in revamping the team in attitude and commitment. Thanks in large part to the transfer portal and recruiting, an immediate roster overhaul got underway that infused much life into this once moribund team quickly changing the calculus. (RELATED: The American Grievance League)

Eight Jackson State players hitched their football wagon to Sanders in his move to Colorado via the transfer portal, including his son Sheduer, a gifted quarterback who made the Maxwell Award watch list.  

Last year cornerback Travis Hunter, once the top-ranked player in his recruiting class, spurned Florida State to play for Sanders and will contribute both ways. This year, the top cornerback in the Class of 2023, Cormani McClain, decommitted from Miami.  According to 247sports, Sanders’ first recruiting class, in which he got a late start, is ranked 30th, while his transfer portal signings was number one.

With the Sanders era underway much has changed in Boulder, especially expectations. 

This perfect storm of a coaching hire the local denizens have dubbed “The Prime Effect” has made Colorado millions.   The team’s spring game had a record 45,000 and was the only game ESPN televised on its main channel.  All season tickets, including the initial allotment of student tickets, were sold out in less than an hour.  It was the earliest that had happened in program history and the first sellout since 1996.  University apparel sales have increased 525% compared to last year, while the football’s Twitter account (now “X” account), increased 67% since December. The sellout home opener against Nebraska will highlight FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff.  

Sanders’ approach has had more than its share of detractors including one anonymous Pac-12 coach, whose conference has shrunk to four teams in an unprecedented purge, called Sanders’ hiring “a lose-lose.” The coach, through the auspices of anonymity featured in Athlon Sports’s annual college football preview wasn’t finished: “Either he’s gonna be really good really fast and leave for another gig, which looking at that roster doesn’t seem possible…. The alternative is that they’re gonna be bad, and they’ll end up firing him in a big circus.”

It is no secret that Colorado has one of the most difficult schedules this season as the Sanders’s era opens against TCU who won January’s Fiesta Bowl. If Colorado can win six games it  would be a triumph, which would also include a bowl game that has eluded the program for three years. 

Kept under wraps are a series of blood clots that have plagued Sanders who recently had successful emergency surgery.  Sanders revealed in 2022 that he needed to have his big toe and second toe amputated due to three life-threatening leg clots. 

If the clotting continues, amputation of his foot may be necessary.    

Behind all the pomp and circumstance is an incredibly disciplined coach, who has put in the work honing his craft, while passing those lessons on to his players.  He is more than flash and filling seats. Sanders is old school and someone you can root for.

Sanders’ infectious will and energy will mold this team.  It is rare that remarkable athletes make great coaches. 

There are always exceptions and Sanders is that exception.  

It’s a wager even ESPN can win.

Read More: Deion Sanders: Primed for Kickoff – The American Spectator