While Colorado stars Shedeur Sanders, Travis Hunter and Shilo Sanders have all parlayed on-field accomplishments into successful name, image and likeness ventures, coach Deion Sanders doesn’t believe money should be a primary recruiting tool.
“We’re not an ATM. That’s not going to happen here,” Sanders said during his Tuesday press conference. “If you come to Colorado to play football for me and the Colorado Buffaloes, it’s because you really want to play football and receive a wonderful education and all the business stuff will be handled on the back end if that’s the case. But we are not an ATM. You’re not coming here to get rich unless you’re really coming here with a plan to go to the NFL and get your degree … not to come here and be Moneybagg Yo. That’s a rapper, right?”
Deion Sanders took an unprecedented roster-building approach last offseason, leaning heavily on the transfer portal to overhaul his team. His primary goal heading into Year 2 will be to address Colorado’s depth and line of scrimmage issues, which were apparent even during the team’s three-game winning streak to start the season. Shedeur Sanders was sacked 16 times during those three games, and the Buffaloes are currently ranked last in the nation in sacks allowed per game at 4.91. While he’ll almost certainly welcome in another batch of transfers this offseason in an attempt to fix those problems, he says he’s not going to get into bidding wars to bring in talent.
“We’re not going to buy anybody whatsoever,” he said. “That’s how we approach it. We have tremendous needs. I’m pretty sure everybody in the country knows what we need and how much we need. That’s not a secret. Recruits are responding.”
The Sanders effect is real. Despite the struggles during the final two months of the season, the program stayed in the national spotlight as the sports world became fixated on the rebuilding job that Sanders is doing. That will be the selling point after they finish the season on Saturday and hit the transfer portal and high school recruiting trail.
“We want players who want us,” Sanders said. “Trying to convince somebody and doing that and being held hostage financially … we ain’t with that. We want players who want to be a Colorado Buffalo.”
Colorado and Utah will tee it up Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET in Salt Lake City, Utah.