For a guy who does all the right things and knows his way around the football field and most everything he does and preaches and accomplishes, especially with recruiting, Deion Sanders, or Coach Prime, sure does get a lot of grief.
Why is that? Is it because people in this country can’t handle it when a Black man spews bravado and backs it up every step of the way, building upon success after success?
Well take a seat, you may as well enjoy the ride.
People may not like all of the braggadocio, but Coach Prime can certainly walk the walk after he talks the talk. I have never seen this man fail at anything he’s set his mind to do.
When it comes to recruiting, the players believe in him and they certainly want to come along for the adventure. Not everyone jumps on the Pattern of Prime, but it’s hard to resist.
Coach Prime can do many things, and he’s proving it. He pulled off one of the biggest recruiting coups in history two years ago when he persuaded 5-star high school All-American Travis Hunter to dismiss his verbal commitment to Florida State and join him in Jackson.
FSU coaches, players and fans were furious. How could Deion, one of their own, pull such a stunt? Well, it won’t be the last time he lures in 5-star talent. It’s Prime Time and it’s here to stay.
Upon arriving in Boulder, Sanders gutted his roster. He told players how it was going to be, and if they didn’t like it hit the road. There were numerous former Buffs rooting against them this past weekend, and the weekend before, but to no avail.
Coach Prime brought his style to Colorado and has already elevated a program that went 1-11 last season into the national Top 25. Unranked in the preseason poll, the Buffs are No. 18 and climbing.
With what Hunter and the coach’s two sons, quarterback Shedeur Sanders and safety Shilo Sanders, have done on the field every team on Colorado’s schedule has every reason to be concerned.
Then throw in the Florida players he lured his way, and Coach Prime has a recipe that has sent future opposing coaches scrambling for game film.
He knows how to judge talent and he can lure talent from anywhere in the country. He just missed this year on Edgewater High safety Cai Bates, an LSU commit, but he won’t miss often.
A couple of Central Florida products, Jimmy Horn from Sanford Seminole and Xavier Weaver from Orlando Christian Prep, jumped on the Coach Prime wagon and they, too, are big reasons why the Buffs are 2-0.
Weaver has caught 16 of 20 targets for 288 yards and a touchdown. Horn has caught 19 of 22 targets for 176 yards and a touchdown. Coach Prime plucked those two out of the transfer portal, as he did numerous other Colorado players. Horn and Weaver departed USF.
Look for Coach Prime to pluck even more players out of Florida. He already lured Lakeland 5-star cornerback Cormani McClain to join this year’s recruiting class, along with Ocoee receiver Asaad Waseem. Both players are likely redshirt candidates and have not played. Players are still able to play four games before a redshirt decision has to be made.
In all, Prime has 19 Floridians on the CU roster, along Central Florida products safety Brendan Gant, a grad student who transferred from FSU; former Bishop Moore defensive lineman freshman Bishop Thomas, another FSU transfer; Cocoa junior receiver Willie Gaines, who followed him from Jackson State; and Lakeland George Jenkins graduate linebacker Jordan Domineck, a transfer from Arkansas.
Sanders knows this state. He played here and he’s well aware of what makes Florida players so much better than many of those from other states around the country.
I asked Sanders a few years ago what it was about Florida players that makes them so good when it comes to football.
“They have that dawg, that je ne sais quoi … that fire, that passion, the desire,” he said. “They’re not playing for themselves. They’re playing for their mom and them … their auntie, uncle, grandma, brothers, siblings, somebody other than themselves. They’re not selfish when it comes to that.”
And when it comes to coaching, Prime Time isn’t selfish, either.
He gives to these young men. He loves them and basks in their success. Coach Prime has the faith, the focus and the fortitude and it is all absorbed by the minds of those who surround him and believe in him.
The Buffs believe. I’m pretty sure the TCU Horned Frogs and Nebraska Cornhuskers also believe.
Sanders first went to Jackson State, the little Historically Black University in Jackson, Miss., and he succeeded beyond all expectations. Serious sports fans and media types saw what he could do at the HBCU level, but most people hardly blinked an eye.
I’ll tell you who cares. Black people. They rejoiced in the success Sanders had at Jackson State, winning two SWAC championships. They’re now jubilant, and rightly so, to see what he is accomplishing at Colorado.
He’s in the big-time now, playing with the big boys. Do you think that scared Sanders? Not in the least. The people it does bother are those who do not like his bravado, his demeanor, the way he goes about his business.
CU fans believe, and they have gone Buffs Ballistic.
Yes, it’s Boulder’s Buffalo Bonanza and Coach Prime, with cowboy hat and all, is quieting the doubters and rallying the faithful.
The success he has had will continue and carry over to future seasons. Not only can this man coach and put together one heck of a coaching staff, he’s also a recruiting extraordinaire.
Back up and give some credit where it’s due. You may not like the way of the man, but the man certainly deserves to be respected.
I do realize Oregon and USC loom on the schedule within the next three weeks. If the Buffs win those games, this team is in the national title hunt.
Deion does things right. He does things through his strong faith.
I say, God bless him.
Chris Hays covers high school football and college football recruiting, as well as the NFL. You can find him on Twitter @OS_ChrisHays or on Instagram @os_chrishays. Email him at email@example.com.