Colorado football head coach search: Breaking down Deion Sanders’ candidacy

Bronco Mendenhall, Bryan Harsin, Ryan Walters, Alex Grinch and Garrett Riley are some of the more popular names surfacing around regarding the Colorado Buffaloes head coach opening.

Gary Patterson has been a fan favorite, and San Jose State head coach Brent Brennan was even mentioned as a potential fit.

But there is one fun name that has been popping up a bit: Deion Sanders. Yes, Prime Time Deion Sanders, the current head coach at Jackson State University.

Sanders has done a magnificent job at Jackson State, which has become a national discussion and sent the HBCUs into the light more than they were before. However, is Sanders a legitimate option for the Buffs?

Who knows, but adding a young, thriving head coach such as Sanders would do wonders for recruiting and (hopefully) make Colorado football exciting once again.

It’s a long shot, but let’s break down Sanders’ profile:

FIRST ROUND DRAFT CHOICE

Nov 14, 1993; Atlanta, GA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Atlanta Falcons defensive back Deion Sanders (21) in action against the Los Angeles Rams at Fulton County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Photo By USA TODAY Sports

Sanders was the fifth overall pick in the 1989 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons and went on to have a marvelous NFL career.

IMPRESSIVE NFL PLAYING CAREER

Jan 28, 1996; Tempe, AZ, USA; FILE PHOTO; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders (21) in action against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart (10) during Super Bowl XXX at Sun Devil Stadium. The Cowboys defeated the Steelers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY Sports

Sanders was selected by the Falcons and spent time with a few other teams, most notably the Dallas Cowboys. Here’s a list of his most notable NFL accolades:

  • 2 Super Bowl titles

  • NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1994)

  • 6 First-Team All-Pro selections

  • 2X Second-Team All-Pro

  • 8 Pro Bowls

  • 1990s All-Decade Team

  • NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team

  • 1989 All-Rookie Team

  • Falcons Ring of Honor

  • 54 interceptions AND 60 receptions

  • 22 career touchdowns

JIM THORPE AWARD WINNER

Jackson State Head Coach Deion Sanders is seen during their homecoming NCAA college football game against Campbell in Jackson, Miss., Saturday, October 22, 2022.
TCL JSU HOMECOMING 203

The Jim Thorpe Award is given to the top defensive back in college football, and Sanders took this home in 1988 as a member of Florida State. He also was a two-time All-American and had his No. 2 jersey retired at Florida State.

MLB CAREER

1997; Unknown date, USA; FILE PHOTO; Cincinnati Reds centerfielder Deion Sanders in action at the plate during the 1997 season. Mandatory Credit: Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY NETWORK

Sanders followed the footsteps of Bo Jackson, playing in the MLB and the NFL. He played from 1989 to 2001 and his career stats weren’t bad: .263 batting average, 39 home runs, 168 RBIs and 186 stolen bases.

FOUNDED AND COACHED PRIME PREP ACADEMY

Lane Kiffin says Deion Sanders would “do great” at Auburn.
Syndication The Clarion Ledger

Sanders was working as an NFL analyst, but he then founded Prime Prep Academy where he ended up being the head coach for two seasons. Sanders then took a job coaching at Triple A Academy before becoming the offensive coordinator for Trinity Christian High School.

JACKSON STATE BEGINNING

Jackson State’s Shedeur Sanders and his father, Tigers coach Deion Sanders, celebrate with Jackson State fans after a victory in the Southern Heritage Classic on Sept. 10.
Syndication The Commercial Appeal

Sanders was hired as head coach at Jackson State in 2020, but that season got delayed due to COVID-19. In his first season, he finished with a 4-3 record,

SECOND YEAR AT JACKSON STATE

Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders cheers his players on during an NCAA college football game against Mississippi Valley State in Jackson, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.
Tcl Jsu Vs Ms Valley245

The 2021 season put Sanders and Jackson State on the map. They went 11-2, 9-0 in the SWAC and won the SWAC en route to a bowl game appearance. Unfortunately, his team lost the Celebration Bowl to South Carolina State in a blowout.

EDDIE ROBINSON AWARD WINNER

Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders on the sideline during a game against Mississippi Valley State in Jackson, Mississippi on Sept. 24, 2022.
Syndication The Clarion Ledger

Deion Sanders won the Eddie Robinson Award in 2021, which is given to the top head coach in the Football Championship Subdivision. He was also named the SWAC Coach of the Year after an undefeated conference slate.

UNDEFEATED TO BEGIN 2022

Coach Deion Sanders talks about the Southern game and what lies ahead for the Tigers during a news conference at Jackson State University in Jackson on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022.
Tcl Deion Sanders

Jackson State is on a tear in 2022. The Tigers are 9-0 with two games remaining: Alabama A&M and Alcorn State. The closest margin of victory came against Campbell, a game in which Jackson State won 22-14.

Even more impressive, the Tigers have held all but one opponent to under 20 points.

FLIPPED FIVE-STAR RECRUIT TRAVIS HUNTER

Jackson State WR Travis Hunter (12) is seen during their homecoming NCAA college football game against Campbell in Jackson, Miss., Saturday, October 22, 2022.
TCL JSU HOMECOMING 221

This was the stunning story of the summer: Five-star recruit and No. 1 prospect Travis Hunter was all set to go to Florida State, but he then flipped and announced he was headed to Jackson State. The legend of Deion Sanders continued to grow.

Further reading

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Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire