There was once a time where Colorado University was synonymous with a winning football team. It has been a long time since that was the case as the once powerful program has only managed to produce a pair of winning seasons since 2005.
Things have bene especially bad of late. This past season, the Buffaloes went 1-11, firing their head coach in October amidst one of the worst seasons in program history. Clearly, a change was needed.
Enter: Deion Sanders
Find someone who is a sports fan, not even just a football fan, and they will know all about Deion. Dubbed “Prime Time”, Sanders had an electric career on the field before being rightfully enshrined in Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In 2020, he entered the coaching fray as the head coach of FCS Jackson State. He immediately made an impact, taking a mediocre team and adding talent immediately. He flipped number one overall recruit in 2022, Travis Hunter, from a Florida State commit to Jackson State.
In his two full seasons with JSU, Sanders delivered a perfect 16-0 conference record, a 23-3 record overall, and a pair of first-place finishes in the East. Moreover, he drastically shifted the perception of the program and what he as a coach could do.
Colorado has announced Deion Sanders as their next head coach. pic.twitter.com/8wwokvWLEf
— ESPN (@espn) December 4, 2022
Why he can change Colorado
On December 3, 2022, Sanders was officially hired as the head coach of Colorado. It is not the prestigious job that it once was and there is clearly a lot of work that must be done to restore CU back to its dominant days. Can Sanders be the one to do it? Here are a few reasons why his hiring can change the course of CU history.
It doesn’t matter where you coach or what you bring to the table as long as you can recruit. Like it or not, high-value recruits are what drive the national powerhouses. Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, and the like all attract the best of the best not only in their home states, but across the country.
Sanders showed that he can be a game changer in recruiting. After all, he brough JSU it’s first five-star recruit ever by flipping Hunter. More importantly, he made JSU a destination for recruits to go to. He has the capacity to do the same at Colorado.
He does particularly well in attracting transfers, players who are looking for a new place to fit in. CU itself has been damaged by players leaving through the transfer portal. If he can not only convince big names to stay but to come play for him, it can lead to more for the Buffs.
Deion Sanders is fitting in well at Colorado 💥 pic.twitter.com/xS9dIaDygU
— ESPN (@espn) December 9, 2022
While “coolness” may not matter on the field, necessarily, it does matter for a program. For starters, recruits will want to play for Sanders because he oozes swag and charisma. From his third person references to “Prime” to his legendary trash talk, there is nothing Sanders does that does not come off as cool.
Creating the right culture, not to mention getting the aforementioned recruits, is a major part of any program. For a culture that has largely centered around losing in the last two decades, creating a better culture is going to be key.
Looking to Sanders, without a doubt one of the most confident athletes of all-time, can potentially offer a source of inspiration for his team. Looking to Coach Prime and seeing his swagger can inspire players to be their best in order to show out like their coach. That confidence can run deep within a program.
Tear it Down
The key to bringing the Buffs back from the dead is not a quick fix. It will likely involve taking a wrecking ball to the program and starting from scratch. Sanders is the kind of guy who will want to change the entire perception of the program from start to finish.
It will involve more than simply bringing in his own recruits. It will be a full culture shift (as mentioned above). The first step will be showing that he can go toe to toe with the big boys of the Pac-12 and bring in the kind of talent that can change the program.
If the Buffs can show patience and let Coach Prime do his thing, there is no telling what the ceiling may be. With a couple of solid recruiting classes, he could have the Buffs performing at a level they have not in more than 20 years.
Getting back to a winning season would make the Coach Prime experience a successful one. He will have the tools needed to make the Buffs the program they once were. Now it is up to him to show that he is more than just hype.
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) January 29, 2023
Credits on Featured Image: Jeremy Vandroff/WEBN-TV