'I'm coming': Deion Sanders’ first team meeting at Colorado becomes tense, made-for-YouTube drama

BOULDER, Colo. — New Colorado head football coach Deion Sanders met his new players for the first time Sunday and told them exactly what he would do to them.

It wasn’t nice. He said that some of them would be replaced. He told them they should get ready to find new teams and take the transfer portal out of town.

He also said he would try to make them quit.

And he did it all on camera, with a video of it posted on YouTube later via his son, Deion Jr.

"Those of you that we don't run off, we're going to try to make you quit," Sanders told his new team. "That's what our season is going to look like. I want ones that don't want to quit, that want to be here, who want to work, who want to win. … I don't want to get in the game and then find out I've got Jane, when all offseason I had Tarzan."

Colorado, a former national powerhouse, has had only two winning seasons since 2005 and finished 1-11 in 2022. But here is Sanders, the newly hired celebrity coach, vowing to overhaul the program to change that — all while turning it into a reality TV show of sorts to be shared online.

At one point in the team meeting Sunday, Sanders laid down team rules — no earrings, hats or hoodies in meetings. At another point, he told the Buffaloes that there "ain't gonna be no more of the mess that these wonderful (Colorado) fans, the student body and some of your parents have put up with for probably two decades now."

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"I'm coming," Sanders told them. "And when I get here, it's gonna be change. So I want you all to get ready to go ahead and jump in that (transfer) portal and do what whatever you're gonna get."

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It’s a formula he’s revealed after just one day on the job — combining cameras, social media and an old-school coaching style for the new name-image-and-likeness era of college football (NIL).

After all, his nickname isn't "Prime Time” for nothing. Under the production of his son, cameras follow around Sanders and others, capturing meetings and moments to be posted and spread on social media, for better or worse.

The goal is simple — to increase exposure for the program, attract top recruits and boost the fame of his players, helping them increase opportunities to earn money from their NILs, which was allowed for the first time last year in the NCAA.

"We know how to do social media," Sanders told his team.

Sanders then turned to his son with the camera and asked him the best way to increase their followings.

“Just post,” said his son, also known as Bucky. “You’ve just got to post. … You've got all eyes on you right now. … Everybody want to know what y'all about to do, who y'all are, what everything is."

As the man with the camera and social media skills, Bucky Sanders also told the team what his job would be in the meantime.

"I'm going to make y'all the most famous people walking this planet," he said. "But you've got to win."

Sanders the coach explained it in his introductory news conference Sunday at Colorado.

"I want you to get ready to start seeing cameras because we film documentaries," he said.

It's a carryover from his tenure at Jackson State in Mississippi, where his team went 12-0 this season and will be part of a docuseries on Sanders that will premier later this month on Amazon Prime. Some of the show will show his arrival at Colorado.

"The kids, they want exposure," Sanders said. "They want to be on television. They want the lights and the action, but they got to understand, the same thing that caused you to shine will show your blemishes as well. So we're going to give them that. We're going to give them the followers. We're going to give them the attention. We're going to give them the support, and we need each and every one of you, because the caliber of players that we're getting ready to bring to you, they gonna want something. But guess what, I'm going to want something back. I'm not crazy about the NILs, but I understand the NILs. … I'd rather our kids be focused on the NFL, and not just the NIL."

Sanders also mentioned in the team meeting that Bucky Sanders soon would get help for his production efforts to make it even bigger. "He's been a one-man machine," Sanders said of his son.

The show got a little tense Sunday. Sanders kept telling the room full of players that "I'm coming," meaning he was coming in to turn the program around.

"There is not going to be any more mediocrity, period," he told them. "I'm coming."

He said he was going to coach his Jackson State team in its final game Dec. 17 — at the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta. Then he was coming back with new players to replace some of them. He said his son, quarterback Shedeur, is coming to Colorado from Jackson State.

"Yep, about 10 more of them coming," Sanders told the holdover players. "And they dogs. And they gonna hunt. And they gonna eat."

He was blunt.

"We have a few positions already taken care of because I'm bringing my luggage with me, and it’s Louis (Vuitton, the luxury brand)," Sanders said.

The players looked at him in silence.

He even suggested they were spoiled, telling them that Boulder was a beautiful city with a beautiful stadium and no crime. He compared it to Jackson State, where his players had less.

"We've never had nothing of sort to work out in and to train in," he said to the Colorado players. "Our kids would go absolute crazy to be in the situation that you in, but you don't respect it. I'm coming. You don't want it. I'm coming. Some of y'all don't even think you deserve it. I'm coming. And usually when God sent me to a place, he sent me to a place to be a conduit of change. I'm coming."

Colorado's administration, fans and alumni are glad he is.

"We needed somebody like him at this program that could reenergize not only our student-athletes, but our base and our community and our state," Rick George, Colorado's athletic director, said Sunday. "I think he can do all of that."

Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer @Schrotenboer. E-mail: bschrotenb@usatoday.com

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Deion Sanders brings tension to first meeting as Colorado head coach