Deion Sanders said Thursday that Colorado’s spring run on the transfer portal was a result of players quitting on the team.

The spring transfer period window closed earlier this year with 43 scholarship players from Colorado jumping into it after the April 15 spring game.

Sanders took over the program after a 1-11 season and promised immediate change. When the season kicks off on Saturday against TCU, Colorado will feature 86 new players on the roster. The Buffs added 53 new transfer players this offseason.

The CU head coach has taken his fair share of criticism this offseason from fans, analysts, and some players for the way he handled roster management this offseason.

On Thursday, during the first Colorado Football Coaches Show of the new year, Sanders set the record straight.

“They talk about how many people left and how many we discarded. We probably had meetings with probably only 20 people. The rest of them quit,” Sanders said. “They quit.

“Like, the meeting was to say — with 20 people — ‘Hey, this may not work, we’re gonna go in a different direction.’ The rest of them quit before that. They didn’t even have the chance to have the meeting. It was like a pack of people at certain times, like they got together and said, ‘Guess what guys, we’re gonna quit tomorrow and stick together.’ I’m like, ‘Who does that?’

“That happened right before the spring game. Like all the defensive linemen quit, except for probably three or four of them that we brought in. Honestly, that’s what was happening. We were getting blamed for guys quitting.”

Sanders and the Buffaloes debut on Saturday against No. 17 TCU. Kickoff is set for 9 a.m. PT on FOX.

More than a few will be tuning in to see if Sanders can find success with CU.