Lincoln Riley Gives Deion Sanders Flowers For Unique Approach To Colorado Roster Rebuild As Other Coaches Bash Him

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Deion Sanders officially took over at Colorado on Dec. 3. His roster today looks nothing like how it looked on the day that he arrived in Boulder and told the returning players to get out if they could not handle it.

Coach Prime had to completely overhaul the program.

Part of the rebuilding process happened organically. A record number of players entered the transfer portal and left the Buffaloes program, which allowed Sanders and his staff to bring in their own guys.

Part of the rebuilding process happened by force. Sanders made it abundantly clear that nothing was going to be given, and presumably processed out (at least) a few players to get things how he wants them.

Either way, what Coach Prime has done in his first eight months on the job is unprecedented. He turned over the vast majority of his roster. It has never been like how Colorado did it.

Change can be scary. Change can inspire anger.

Both of those things are true with the Buffaloes’ approach to its roster.

Pat Narduzzi and Brent Venables didn’t love Deion Sanders’ approach to roster rennovation.

Narduzzi, the head coach at Pittsburgh, said that Sanders’ actions reflected poorly on the entire sport.

Brent Venables, in his second year as head coach at Oklahoma, had some thoughts of his own.

Needless to say, Sanders ruffled some feathers.

Lincoln Riley is on the other side of things.

Riley is in his second year as head coach at USC. He, though not to the same extent, has used the transfer portal to rebuild much of his roster — especially on defense — like Coach Prime at Colorado.

It’s not like Sanders is doing anything that other coaches aren’t. The Pro Football Hall of Famer is just doing it on a larger scale.

Riley recognizes that notion and respects it. He spoke to his new conference counterpart (though only for one year) and the transfer portal at Pac-12 Media Day.

I give (Sanders) credit. We all know what the rules are. We all know what the parameters are. And our job is to build the best teams that we can for the universities that give us the opportunity to do it. No excuses.

— Lincoln Riley

The 39-year-old continued to say that the success of Coach Prime’s overhaul will determine how the rest of the country operates moving forward. Deion Sanders Jr. also alluded to that thinking earlier this month.

There obviously needed to be a roster transformation there in coach Sanders’ opinion, and he went about it aggressively. Obviously, the success of that for us or anybody else will be determined on the field as time goes on.

— Lincoln Riley

Riley went on to wrap things up with praise.

From the outside looking in, they’ve done a great job transforming that roster and bringing in some really good players.

— Lincoln Riley

The Trojans and Buffaloes will meet on the gridiron — for the only time as Pac-12 members — in Boulder on Sept. 30. Riley and Sanders have yet to meet, but the former has respect for the latter and what he has done, unlike other coaches around the country.

Written by Grayson Weir

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

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