ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg went to the AFCA coaches convention earlier this month and asked both coaches and personnel directors to pick teams they felt made out the best in the first transfer portal window.

Colorado was among the eight selected.

From Rittenberg’s report:

“That kid [Payne] is going to be a really good player for them,” a Pac-12 personnel director said. “Deion’s going to be a problem. If he wins games, he’s going to be a real problem.”

Added another Pac-12 personnel director: “They reached on a couple [transfers] but got some good ones in there.”

The next portal window doesn’t open until May 1. Though players already in the portal can still commit to new teams between now and then, no one new can enter it at this point. The group of newcomers is largely what it is.

For Colorado, that group is vast. First-year coach Deion Sanders wasn’t lying when he opened up his introduction to the team by telling them he was bringing his own luggage. The 2023 class for CU includes 23 known transfer commitments.

Fresno State defensive tackle Leonard Payne Jr. is the player referenced by the Pac-12 personnel director above. He’s one of 12 defensive transfers. That group features former Jackson State star corner Travis Hunter, former blue-chip safety Myles Slusher, Clemson linebacker Vonta Bailey, and former Michigan edge rusher Taylor Upshaw.

Jackson State quarterback Shedeur Sanders gives the Buffs a player who can walk in and start right away. Kentucky running back Kavosiey Smoke could do the same.

Sanders is looking to improve significantly on the 1-11 record it posted in 2022.