Deion Sanders is in the midst of one of the most challenging rebuilds in college football history. Entering his first season as Colorado coach, "Coach Prime" is dealing with a brand new roster that has seen 51 players transfer into the program. The team could have over 70 new players on the roster this fall after the Buffaloes went 1-11 last season with one of the worst rosters in the Power Five ranks.
Amid this rebuild, Sanders has compiled the No. 1 transfer portal class in the 247Sports rankings. Among those who have joined the Colorado team ahead of the 2023 season are former Jackson State stars that followed Sanders to Boulder: Travis Hunter, the former No. 1 overall recruit in the 2022 class, as well as Sanders' sons Shedeur and Shilo Sanders.
"I was the genesis coming in, and now there's exodus," Sanders said in an interview on The Joel Klatt Show"... when the President gets into office, what happens to the cabinet? He enacts his agenda. What I am doing is no different than any CEO, any person of status that has claimed a position. I got to get it right. I ain't looking at yesterday, and I'm not looking forward to tomorrow. I'm looking at now. My feelings, thoughts and understanding are that I got to get it right now. Let's go get it now."
What goes hand-and-hand with the transfer portal, and recruiting as a whole nowadays, is name, image and likeness. In a previous interview,Hunter was receiving offers of up to $1.5 million to come play for their respective program. What helped bring Hunter out west from Jackson State is the previous relationship he had with Sanders. The first-year Colorado coach says he has no problem with NIL, rather he takes issue with the collectives that work behind the scenes to make lucrative pitches to athletes in the portal.
"NIL is not a problem with me," Sanders said. "Collectives are. What kid out of high school is notable enough that a CEO of a major company is going lay it on the line land for a kid nobody knows? There are maybe four guys in all of college football that we've seen in a commercial nationally. We happen to have two here in Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter. Collectives, you could be Tom, Dick, Harry and Larry, and you just put a bag together. Boosters or whatever, try to solicit these kids to come to your university. Who is that helping? I want the kid to get compensated. I want him to be straight. But you got to balance the fine line. Is he still going to want it like that when you've just given him that, and he didn't have to earn it? I wish there was a way to measure your ability and what you bring to the table before."