Deion Sanders becomes 'Professor Prime': What he said in first class teaching at Colorado

Head football coach Deion Sanders taught his first class this semester at the University of Colorado, taking on the role of “Professor Prime” as he spoke to undergraduate students about life, personal branding and even building a football roster in today’s chaotic college football environment.

The class debuted recently in Boulder and is named after his nickname: “Prime Time: Public Performance and Leadership.” This was the first time “Coach Prime” appeared with his entourage of cameras and security detail in a session that was documented on YouTube by his son Deion Jr. The class will feature different speakers and topics, with Sanders slated to speak once more, per the Boulder Daily Camera.

As a visiting faculty member, Sanders took questions from students Thursday and told them why he doesn’t recruit many freshmen to his team and said that two of his players could be the first two players selected in next year's NFL draft. He also talked about why he believes few college football players have gotten true endorsement deals for their names, images and likenesses (NIL).

What did Deion Sanders say about roster building?

Sanders said he likes recruiting sophomores who transferred in instead of bringing in a bunch of freshmen. His recruiting class for 2024 includes only six freshmen and nearly 25 transfer players.

“When you inherited a roster like we inherited a roster, you can’t deal with high school kids that much, because it takes them probably a couple of years to develop (and) you’ll be fired in a couple years,” Sanders told the students. “You don’t have that kind of time.”

That’s why he’s become the king of the transfer portal, bringing in 47 scholarship players from other four-year colleges last year. Only a few freshmen played last year in Sanders’ first season at Colorado, when the Buffaloes finished 4-8. If the freshmen he does recruit don’t play right away, Sanders noted those players then might get in the transfer portal to play somewhere else.

“So what we’d rather do is go get a sophomore in college … that understands the bus stops, understands what time class starts… And we don’t have to worry about them introducing themselves to the collegiate game,” Sanders said. “Because if you load your roster up with a bunch of freshmen, you’re in for a heckuva season… It’s not gonna be good. And when you have a pro kind of quarterback, you can’t give him youngsters to work with. It’s gonna be chaotic.”

Colorado football coach Deion Sanders taught his first class at CU this week.
Colorado football coach Deion Sanders taught his first class at CU this week.

Deion Sanders says Colorado might have top picks in 2025 NFL draft

Sanders also mentioned how lots of NFL scouts will be visiting Boulder this year and said his quarterback son Shedeur and two-way player Travis Hunter might be the top two overall picks in the draft next year.

“We got, proposedly, the first and second pick of the whole draft, Sheduer and Travis, so every NFL scout is coming, but they’re not just gonna come for that, because I want them to see the smorgasbord of players that we have and the operation that we have,” Sanders said.

Social branding seminar

Sanders is often followed by cameras that document his program for three main YouTube channels, including Well Off Media, which is run by his son Deion Jr. But those who edit those videos know they better be careful and not include footage that might make Sanders look bad. As an example, he told a story about how he used the term “wife beater” recently to describe a tank-top shirt and didn’t want it included in one of the videos.

He also told a story about how freshman offensive lineman Jordan Seaton recently posted a video in which the ”whole rap song was profanity.”

“I said, 'Big fella, not today,’” Sanders said.

“I apologize coach; it won’t happen again,” Seaton replied, according to Sanders.

Sanders’ son Deion Jr. calls his father the “Instagram police.”

“You’ve got to teach them, because they don’t know any better,” Sanders said. “I said, Jordan, 'You’re trying to brand yourself. The first thing people do is go through your social media.’”

Schooling on NIL

NIL became legal in 2021, but now NIL issues are roiling college sports. Sanders said he wouldn’t even call it NIL because he believes it’s not really NIL, which he considers to be an endorsement deal between a company and a player. Instead, he said NIL collectives are stepping in to pay players by passing around a collection plate to school boosters and then dividing the pot with ­­players.

“Since I got time today, I want you to tell me how many players in college football that you’ve seen in commercials,” Sanders said to the students.

The students came up with five names, including his sons Shedeur and Shilo Sanders.

“All these college athletes and you’ve named five people,” he said. “This is not NIL. This is not the day of NIL. That’s what it’s supposed to be, but it’s collectives and that’s where it went wrong.”

Sanders said major companies generally aren't going to be interested in signing sponsorship deals with many college kids because they’re unproven and companies don’t want to risk damaging the company brand.

“I’m sick of everybody in the country talking about NIL,” Sanders said. “It’s not NIL.”

Seizing the moment at CU Boulder

Sanders also gave some advice: Seize your moment.

“The reason you know (NBA great) Michael Jordan is because when it came down to that moment, he seized it,” Sanders told the students. “The reason we know (singer) Taylor Swift or whoever you love and adore out there right now, is because when she get that mic in her hand, what she do? She delivers.

“You’re gonna have a moment to deliver and to go get it, and to just catapult yourself up to another level. What you gonna do with your moment? The only reason I’m standing in front of you today is because I have seized a multitude of my moments. And I’m still seizing.”

Editor's note: USA TODAY Sports' Brent Schrotenboer is also scheduled to speak to this class this semester.

Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer on X: @Schrotenboer. Email:

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Deion Sanders teaches class at Colorado: Here's what coach had to say