A lot has happened since head coach Deion Sanders agreed to take the helm as the head man in Boulder. He vowed to change the program from the ground up, transforming the attitude and atmosphere surrounding the program. Sanders is deemed to become the best coach in Buffaloes history, will he achieve that status?
He has certainly made a huge change. Gone is 80% of last year’s Colorado Buffaloes football roster, replaced with recruits and more than 50 additions from the transfer portal. If you haven’t been keeping up with the moves, a little overview of the roster can go a long way. Here’s an overview of the Colorado football roster for 2023.
Colorado Buffaloes Offense
The offense is certainly going to be a focal point for the Buffs given the kind of talent Sanders brought with him from Jackson State. These are the players that must stay fit during the Colorado Buffaloes football schedule.
Let’s take a deeper look at each position group on the Colorado football roster and who will see the most action from each in the Pac-12 conference.
Players: Shedeur Sanders, Ryan Staub, Colton Allen, Kasen Weisman, Gavin Kuld
Maybe the best position group of the bunch, quarterback is loaded, and it is largely due to Sanders. He already looks like he could be one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the program and early results are incredible. He has lit it up so far, helping the Buffs pile up the points.
Staub looked serviceable in camp but won’t see much time so long as Sanders remains healthy. A true dual-threat, Sanders could threaten for some postseason hardware if the Buffs can put together a strong season. His connection with Travis Hunter has already been a special one, leading to some serious magic so far from the Colorado Buffaloes football roster.
Shadeur Sanders defending Travis Hunter shows this Colorado teams mentality! Never see QB's go to the conflict like that. pic.twitter.com/Xsjt1EI2UB
— Unbiased NFL takes (@DeshaunTheCreep) September 17, 2023
Players: Alton McCaskill IV, Kavosiey Smoke, Dylan Edwards, Anthony Hankerson, Sy’veon Wilkerson, Champion Johnson, Charlie Offerdahl, Dante Capolungo
The rushing attack wasn’t going to be the focal point and that’s how it’s played out. Edwards, Wilkerson, and Hankerson have gotten relatively equal touches, though the results haven’t been earth-shattering. If the offense is to remain dynamic, they’ll need greater contributions out of this running back group, which was expected to be McCaskill IV’s show but has not been so far.
Colorado leading receivers into week 4
Jimmy Horn Jr 26 Rec | 247 Yards | 2TDs
Xavier Weaver 25 Rec | 386 Yards | 2TDs
Travis Hunter 16 Rec | 213 Yards
Dylan Edwards 14 Rec | 160 Yards | 3TDs
Michael Harrison 11 Rec | 113 Yards | 2TDs
Our WR core is 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 #SkoBuffs🦬 pic.twitter.com/r9wUf8A38X
— KeepItRealBuffs (@keepitbuffs) September 19, 2023
Players: Jimmy Horn Jr., Travis Hunter, Xavier Weaver, Kaleb Mathis, Jaylen Ellis, Willie Gaines, Javon Antonio, Cole Boscia, Louis Passarello, Erik Olsen, Caleb Fauria, Michael Harrison
The receiving ore is absolutely loaded. Hunter has been a stud so far and Horn Jr. stepped up when Hunter went down due to injury. Weaver leads the team in yards so far and is just one catch behind Horn Jr. for the team lead in receptions. There is a ton of talent for QB Shedeur Sanders to work with, helping create the explosive offense we have seen.
Tight end has largely been a mystery. No one knew what to expect since the group largely remained the same a year ago. Harrison is the only tight end to be used so far, grabbing 11 passes for 113 yards so far. The receivers are the focal point and the tight ends look like they will largely be used in a blocking role.
Salute to Travis Hunter , he’s solid ! Stood his ground during the pregame altercation with the CSU players !!! pic.twitter.com/KW74rDbe2e
— Turf Field Jerry (@TurfFieldSports) September 19, 2023
Players: Landon Bebee, Tyler Brown, Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan, Camden Dempsey, Carter Edwards, Isaiah Jatta, Ben Reznik, Jack Seavall, Van Wells, Jack Wilty
A whopping 11 new faces were added to the mix, giving great depth to what was an average Pac-12 offensive line a year ago. Only five players from last year’s group returned this season, creating prime competition thanks to a plethora of experienced offensive linemen injected into the mix. Early results are promising but there is a lot of season left to go.
Coach Prime wanted to shake up Colorado’s roster and bring in new players, but three football players said they couldn’t be scared away. They were ready for the challenge. pic.twitter.com/3p1pBES8LL
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) September 19, 2023
Colorado Buffaloes Defense
The defense was woeful a year ago on the Colorado football roster, so Coach Sanders got to work performing major changes. He brought with him a lot of talent through the transfer portal, giving the Buffs’ defense a drastically different look from the one it had just a year ago.
Players: Jordan Domineck, Shane Cokes, Taijh Alston, Leonard Payne Jr., Taje McCoy, Bishop Thomas, Amari McNeil, Chazz Wallace, Derrick McLendon, Deeve Harris, Khairi Manns
This unit got the biggest facelift since Sanders took over. Considering it was the worst front in Division I a year ago, that makes sense. He brought in a lot of talent through the transfer portal, including the five-star Smalls.
Alston and McNeil have delivered the only sacks out of the line this year so far, but pressures have been there. With a deep rotation, the hope is that everyone can stay fresh enough to make an impact deep into games.
Players: Marvin Ham II, LaVonta Bentley, Isaac Hurtado, Eoghan Kerry, Jack Remington, Victory Johnson, Morgan Pearson, Caiden Robertson, Jeremiah Brown, Juwan Mitchell
The linebacking core has been solid so far. Ham leads the way as the clear leader of the linebackers. But Mitchell, Domineck, and Bentley have all figured into the equation as well. They are an underrated group that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as they deserve.
Players: Travis Hunter, Kyndrich Breedlove, Cormani McClain, Jahquez Robinson, Omarion Cooper, Braden Keith, Carter Stoutmire, Liam McGannon, Cam’Ron Simon-Craig, Trevor Woods, Myles Slusher, Vito Tisdale, Rodrick Ward, Shilo Sanders
The secondary is getting a lot of looks thanks to some solid depth throughout the lineup. Hunter is the obvious star and difference-maker, contributing a highlight reel interception in the upset against #20 TCu back in Week 1. A versatile all-rounded player, Travis has everything to become one of the best Colorado Buffaloes players of all time if he keeps this rhythm.
Safety has seen Woods and Silmon-Craig lock down the starting spots, though Slusher has seen spot duty at times this year. This position group has some exciting talent throughout, providing exceptional depth that will give the rest of the defense much-needed time to get to the QB.
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— Colorado Buffaloes Football (@CUBuffsFootball) September 12, 2023
Players: Jace Feely, Alejandor Mata, Mark Vassett, Trent Carrizosa, Jacob Politte, Cameron Warchuck
Special teams look intriguing. Feely has gotten the bulk of the work so far, though Mata has had a few shots. Both are quite similar, though Feely has the range. Vassett has locked down the return game, though it wouldn’t be shocking to see Hunter get a few snaps later in the season, especially if the team achieves a bowl game.