Deion Sanders’ Immediate Impact On Bad Colorado Program Exemplified By Increased NIL Funds, Interest Of Top-Ranked Recruit

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Deion Sanders’ first month at Colorado is unlike anything that college football has seen before. Not only did it come under unique circumstance, but Coach Prime made one of the worst programs in the country relevant overnight.

The Buffaloes, since the turn of the century, have won eight or more games just four times. They won 10 games in 2001, nine games in 2002, eight games in 2004 and 10 games in 2016.

More recently, Colorado went 5-7 in 2017, 2018 and 2019, 4-8 in 2021 and won just one game in 2022. It was a very big deal to not lose every game and the students stormed the field.

A program that was one play away from going winless should not be competitive in recruiting. Especially considering its last 10 classes.

  • 2022 — No. 58
  • 2021 — No. 65
  • 2020 — No. 36
  • 2019 — No. 48
  • 2019 — No. 53
  • 2017 — No. 34
  • 2016 — No. 69
  • 2015 — No. 69
  • 2014 — No. 74
  • 2013 — No. 69
  • 2012 — No. 39

While the 2020, 2017 and 2012 classes were not awful, the Buffaloes have not sniffed the Top-25 in two decades. Most of the current high school prospects weren’t even born, or were younger than the age of two.

All of this goes to say that the program in Boulder was not in a position to out-recruit other Pac-12 schools, let alone SEC or Big Ten school— until this month. Until Sanders.

The Deion Sanders effect is real.

Now, with Coach Prime at the helm, Colorado is in a position for which it is unfamiliar. It has a legitimate chance to land premier talent over other prominent Power Five programs.

Take T.J. Capers, for example.

Capers, a five-star linebacker from Miami, is ranked as the top player at his position in the Class of 2024 and the No. 10-ranked player overall. At 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, he is an absolute freak on the defensive side of the ball with the tape to back it up.

With 23 scholarship offers, Capers has his pick of the litter when it comes to where to play college football. However, his top-five includes Georgia, Miami, USC and Louisville.

All four programs are extremely relevant in the NIL space, and carry the names that they carry. The fifth school is Colorado.

Think about that for a second— USC, Miami, Georgia, Louisville… and Colorado.

Can you imagine that being the case even just six months ago?

This means two things:

  1. Recruits want to play for Sanders.
  2. There is NIL money in Boulder.

For the Buffaloes to be competing with the boosters and collectives at the other four schools for a five-star linebacker alludes to the financial situation. While Colorado may not have the most NIL money in the country at its disposal, and the exact numbers are uncertain, it’s not insignificant. There is a large NIL backing, that is believed to be in the multi-million dollar range, to help Coach Prime and his staff make a splash in the modern era of recruiting.

Capers including the Buffs in his top-five is the perfect example. As is the fact that Colorado currently holds the No. 43-overall recruiting class for 2023 and the No. 3-ranked transfer class in the country.

Deion Sanders keeps saying that “he’s coming.” There are six weeks left in the current recruiting cycle to make that even better known, and then the focus shifts toward 2024, where Capers represents one of many top-ranked recruits who are set to give Coach Prime and his program a legitimate look, where they wouldn’t have just a few weeks ago.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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