Anonymous coaches give predictions for Deion Sanders' first year with Colorado
Deion Sanders debuts as a Power Five head football coach in 2023 and all eyes will be on Boulder because of it.
The Buffs went 1-11 a season ago, but with Coach Prime taking over as the leader of the program, a new era has been ushered in in rapid fashion. CU has more than 40 scholarship newcomers joining the team this offseason, including former Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders — a star not just because of his last name — and cornerback Travis Hunter. The Buffs figure to be a regular on Pac-12 TV partners after being mostly relegated to the league’s own network in 2022.
Excitement is high.
So it came as no surprise to see when ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg went to the American Football Coaches Association convention in to gather predictions from coaches for the 2023 season, Sanders and the Buffs were a popular topic.
Among the seven reoccurring messages Rittenberg received from coaches, one was that Sanders will turn CU around but growth won’t be immediate.
From Rittenberg’s reporting:
Every coach I talked with about Sanders’ move to Colorado — including some who had worked at CU before — like the hire or at least elements. “Prime will do well,” was a common refrain in Charlotte. Colorado had plummeted to the bottom of the Power 5 and Sanders will immediately provide a bump in attention and overall appeal. He’s also receiving more administrative support than previous Colorado coaches.
“Deion’s going to inspire those kids to play,” a Pac-12 personnel chief said. “That’s two wins right there.”
… Coaches think some of the other Jackson State imports could struggle with the jump up to the FBS level.
Rittenberg also wrote that coaches had questions about Colorado’s ability to successfully recruit the state of California, with several Pac-12 staffers who frequent the state’s recruiting scene saying they have yet to see CU establish much of a presence in the area.
Sanders is working to establish what he wants CU to look like under his watch. That’ll take time.
According to Rittenberg, coaches around the sport think six wins would be an “excellent” first season.