Colorado Transfer Portal Athletes: Where are the Former Buffaloes Now?

    In the immediate aftermath of the Colorado spring game, 27 athletes entered the transfer portal. Where are the former Buffaloes footballers now?

    Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes are the headline story of the 2023 college football season. Whatever happens from here that fact remains. Overshadowed by that early season success are the 27 transfer portal athletes who bolted from Boulder in the immediate aftermath of the Colorado spring game.

    Where are the players who were told their future didn’t lie with the Buffs?

    Colorado Transfer Portal Athletes: Where are the Former Buffaloes Now?

    Four weeks into the 2023 college football season — yes, Week 0 is a week of the season — and Sanders is a man who has lived up to his word and the hype that he’s created around Colorado. A 1-11 team a year ago, the Buffs are undefeated as they head to face Oregon in a matchup that wouldn’t have attracted anywhere near the level of attention it’s receiving just one year ago.

    MORE: 2023 College Football Depth Charts, Rosters, and Schedules 

    Just because the players that were already in situ before Sanders’ arrival in Boulder didn’t measure up to his Louis Vuitton luggage, doesn’t mean they don’t have value — as college football players and men. Their stories shouldn’t be forgotten. So, where are the 27 players who left within days of the Colorado spring game now?

    Travis Gray, OL

    Travis Gray was a Colorado legacy whose father was on the 1990 national title-winning Buffaloes team. He joined New Mexico as a redshirt freshman but is yet to start for the Lobos through three games. Gray has arguably been the most outspoken of the Colorado transfer athletes, saying “I’m not sure he knew the names of half the kids he got rid of” when talking about Sanders.

    Tayvion Beasley, CB

    Another interesting story from the Colorado transfer portal saga is Tayvion Beasley, who followed Sanders from Jackson State to Colorado but found himself surplus to requirements. Beasley transferred to San Diego State, battling for a spot in their talented secondary, but is yet to tally any statistics.

    Zion Magalei, OLB

    After two seasons in Boulder, Zion Magalei left Colorado and left the FBS level too. The redshirt sophomore linebacker transferred to Northern Arizona, where his brother Nehemiah Magalei also plays. Magalei has yet to register any statistics for the Lumberjacks in the 2023 college football season.

    Mister Williams, OLB

    Mister Williams played all 12 games for Colorado in 2022 but wasn’t a part of the Buffaloes plans under Sanders. The fourth-year linebacker transferred to Incarnate Word where he’s tallied six tackles including 0.5 for loss, while lining up against FBS opponent UTEP in college football Week 1.

    Jalen Sami, DL

    The 6’7″, 330-pound Jalen Sami had been in Boulder since 2017, making him the longest-tenured victim of Sanders’ Colorado cull. Sami landed at Michigan State following his departure where’s played in two games for the Spartans, registering one tackle in the season-opener against Central Michigan.

    Ty Robinson, WR

    In two games for Ball State, Ty Robinson has already outstripped his career production with Colorado. Landing with the Cardinal following his departure from Boulder, the 6’3″, 193-pound pass catcher leads the team in yards per catch (18.5) and touchdowns (1) ahead of Week 4. Robinson has tallied 111 yards in 2023.

    Victor Venn, RB

    Following his entry into the transfer portal, Victor Venn swapped Sanders and Colorado for the Liberty Flames and new head coach Jamey Chadwell. Joining several other transfer backs, he has one carry for zero yards heading into college football Week 4.

    Jeremy Mack, S

    A standout at the JUCO level for EMCC before heading to Colorado, Jeremy Mack was one of the more productive players to hit the portal having tallied 48 tackles in 2022. The 5’10”, 190-pound safety is yet to register any stats since transferring to Old Dominion for the 2023 college football campaign.

    Xavier Smith, S

    A former high-school do-it-all who played QB, RB, DB, and KR at Langston Hughes, Xavier Smith spent one year at Colorado before transferring to Austin Peay following Sander’s arrival. In the first three games of his FCS career, he’s logged 12 tackles and a forced fumble, while tallying four tackles against Tennessee.

    Aaron Austin, DL

    A Texas native, Aaron Austin returned to his roots following his departure from Colorado, committing to play for Stephen F. Austin amongst a host of FCS offers. In three games for the Lumberjacks, he’s tallying eight tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Half of his total tackles came against FBS Troy.

    Grant Page, WR

    After leaving Colorado in the spring, Grant Page joined a competitive wide receiver room at Utah State where he’s yet to log a reception for the Aggies. Page was a Boulder native who originally committed to Nebraska for flipping to Colorado, and was told “it was just best for me to leave” his hometown team.

    Aubrey Smith, LB

    A four-star recruit in Colorado’s 2022 recruiting class, Aubrey Smith had “earned” his number 32 jersey back during spring practice, making his transfer portal departure somewhat surprising. Smith found another Power Five gig, committing to Houston, but has yet to tally any statistics for the Big 12 team.

    Alex Harkey, OT

    A two-year JUCO standout at Tyler, there was excitement about his arrival in Colorado in 2022. Having played 34 snaps at right guard in his first year with the Buffaloes, he transferred to Texas State where he made his debut in the Week 3 win over Jackson State — ironically Sanders’ former team.

    Deion Smith, RB

    One of the most productive of the Colorado transfer athletes, Deion Smith left Boulder with over 600 rushing yards and four touchdowns on his résumé. He joined the running back rotation at BYU for the 2023 college football season, seeing playing time in all three games so far and scoring a TD against Southern Utah.

    Devin Grant, LB

    Another of the Colorado transfer portal athletes transferring to Incarnate Word, former Buffaloes linebacker Devin Grant has seen action in two games back since arriving back in his home state. Grant has tallied three tackles with 1.5 for loss and a four-yard sack while recovering a fumble for the Cardinals.

    Oakie Salave’a, DB

    A multi-position high school weapon, Oakie Salave’a was listed as a DB during his freshman season at Colorado. Since entering the transfer portal and finding a new home in Hawaii, he’s transitioned back to the offensive side of the ball. Currently listed as a 6’2″, 215-pound tight end, he’s yet to register any stats.

    Jordyn Tyson, WR

    Wide receiver Jordyn Tyson led the Buffaloes in receiving yards as a true freshman last fall but found his services unwanted in Boulder with the arrival of a host of pass catchers. He remained in the Pac-12 with Arizona State but has yet to see the field while battling injuries both before and since leaving Colorado.

    Jason Oliver, CB

    A three-star recruit in the 2022 class, Jason Oliver left Colorado after just one season after logging 11 tackles. He transferred to FCS outfit Sacramento State where he registered a tackle against Texas A&M Commerce. He was part of the Hornets roster that defeated Pac-12 Stanford in Week 3, one of just four FCS wins over FBS opposition so far in the 2023 college football season.

    Tyrin Taylor, DB

    After the most productive season of his career in 2022, Tyrin Taylor entered the transfer portal, quickly finding a home with the AAC title-contending Memphis Tigers. Taylor has yet to make an impact on the field for his new team through three games of the season. However, he’s been active in community projects since arriving with the program.

    Jackson Anderson, OL

    A Tyler, Texas native, Jackson Anderson returned to his home state when announcing his transfer to the UTSA Roadrunners in mid-May. The redshirt sophomore offensive lineman didn’t see any action during his Colorado career and has yet to assert himself on the UTSA offensive front.

    Montana Lemonious-Craig, WR

    After dominating the Colorado spring game, Montana Lemonoius-Craig was the one transfer portal entry that Sanders wanted to keep in Boulder. Instead, the talented pass-catching playmaker is part of a dangerous WR group at Arizona where he has seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown through Week 3. The Wildcats go on the road to face Colorado on Nov. 11.

    Shakaun Bowser, LB

    Shaukaun Bowser didn’t see the field for Colorado in 2022, but the former three-star edge prospect was expected to attract significant attention in the transfer portal. He’s currently playing at Garden City Community College, tallying three tackles across the program’s last two games against Iowa Western and Gordon’s Fine Arts Sports Academy Prep.

    Drew Carter, QB

    Drew Carter was a two-sport athlete at Colorado, seeing a little action on the football field before walking onto the Buffaloes basketball team. Following his transfer portal departure from Boulder, Carter has focused all his attention on the hard court, committing to UC Davis to play basketball.

    Yousef Mugharbil, OL

    A former four-star recruit, Yousef Mugharbil was at Florida for two seasons before transferring to Colorado. He spent the spring with the Buffaloes, but was on the move again shortly after the spring game. A North Carolina native, he committed to NC State for the 2023 college football campaign but hasn’t played yet.

    Jake Wiley, OL

    A versatile offensive lineman who had played over 600 snaps in each of his final two seasons at Colorado, Jake Wiley remained in the Pac-12 with a transfer to the UCLA Bruins. The experienced lineman has seen action in all three games so far this season and is listed as the backup right guard on the Bruins’ latest depth chart. The Bruins host Colorado on Oct. 28.

    Taylor Upshaw, EDGE

    One of the most high-profile of the Colorado transfer, Taylor Upshaw had barely landed in Boulder from Michigan when he was back in the transfer portal. Joining teammate Lemonious-Craig in Arizona, Upshaw notched 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks on his Wildcats debut, and was active in the backfield once again in their Week 3 win over UTEP, tallying another TFL and a sack.

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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