Deion Sanders on the Defensive Over Recruiting Strategy at Colorado

    Deion Sanders is now trying to shake the idea that Colorado is a transfer portal factory following his comments at Big 12 Media Days.

    The Coach Prime era for the Colorado Buffaloes has been labeled many things during Deion Sanders’ short time in Boulder, from electrifying and exciting to overrated and garish. But one label in particular was bestowed upon his program that Sanders seemed to truly resent at Big 12 Media Days — recruiting mercenary.

    Sanders infamously brought his “own luggage” with him to Boulder, using the transfer portal to completely flip the Buffaloes’ roster to the tune of over 70 new players last year alone.

    Now, he’s striking back at the idea that his recruiting strategy is solely transfer portal-focused, saying he is also in the high school prospect development business.

    But is Sanders justified in defending his recruiting strategy?

    Deion Sanders’ Transfer Portal Strategy

    For his first team meeting as the head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes in December 2022, Sanders declared to the current players that he intended to replace most of them with transfers.

    “We’ve got a few positions already taken care of because I’m bringing my luggage with me. And it’s Louis (Vuitton),” Sanders said to the players in a video shared on social media. “I’m coming. It ain’t going to be no more of this mess that these wonderful fans, this student body, and some of your parents have put up with for probably two decades now. I’m coming. And when I get here, there’s going to be change.

    “So I want y’all to get ready to go ahead and jump in that (transfer) portal. Do whatever you’re going to get. Because the more of you who jump in, the more room you make. Because we’re bringing kids that are smart, tough, fast, disciplined, with character.”

    Sanders proved he wasn’t all talk as he welcomed in 52 transfers, including his two sons, QB, Shedeur, and safety, Shilo, in a 73-man recruiting class for Colorado in 2023.

    The 2024 recruiting cycle hasn’t been much different for Sanders, with 42 transfers among the 53 members.

    Deion Defensive at Big 12 Media Days

    When discussing recruiting at Big 12 Media Days, Sanders appeared to dislike that he is considered a transfer portal recruiter who values instant but fleeting production over a developmental project with high school recruits.

    “For those of you who say we only go to the (transfer) portal, we signed 17 high school players (in 2023), and 13 played,” Sanders was quoted saying at Big 12 Media Days.

    Seventeen high school prospects and three junior college players were signed in 2023. Added to the 52 transfers, that makes up the Buffaloes’ 73 players for 2023.

    The exacerbated number of transfers is understandable for a first-year coach, but the 2024 class only has nine high school prospects to 42 transfers.

    That’s 94 transfers for Sanders over the last two recruiting cycles compared to 26 high school recruits, meaning transfers have made up 78.3% of his recruiting classes at Colorado.

    He may not like the transfer portal maven reputation, but Sanders has certainly earned it.

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