“Hope is home,” says Deion Sanders, in Colorado

BOULDER, CO — “Prime Coach” Deion Sanders proudly recited numbers from his first Colorado recruiting class.

Two five-star recruits. He was ranked 23rd in the general classification, the highest in 15 years, indicating that he had begun to reshape his team in the transfer portal.

Then a quick reminder: He’s not done with the talent pool. Not by a long shot. This is just a short pause, he said, with more skilled players likely to arrive sometime after the spring.

It took Sanders less than two months in Boulder to not only revamp a troubled program but to give his hungry fan base something else: hope.

“We’re not hiring any ordinary Tom, Dick and Harry,” Sanders said Wednesday on the day of the signing. “We’ve recruited some guys who can light up the scoreboard and prevent touchdowns. We’re coming in. We’re serious about it.”

“Hope is in the house. Hope is in the air. Hope is in the city. Hope is in the community.”

Sanders and his veteran staff have been busy scouting for talent in the country. The NFL Hall of Fame player known then as “Prime Time” posted on Social media for recruits to connect with him as well: “It’s not hard to find.”

The Buffalo signed players from 16 states and two from England. Not only that, they brought in a pair of five-star high school recruits Cormani McClain and transfer Cornerback/Receiver Travis Hunterwho followed Sanders from Jackson State.

In all, there are about 35 newcomers on the spring list. Maybe that’s why Sanders didn’t really want to talk about all of them by name.

“We have names on the back of their jerseys right now,” cracked Sanders, who starts spring training on March 19 and the in-group game scheduled for April 22. “I’m not familiar with every kid. Disrespectful. I’m just being honest.”

It’s only natural, given that he completely overhauled the roster from a team that went 1-11 last season. The class includes four players from Georgia and seven from Sanders’ home state of Florida. There are eight defensive linebackers, which will come in handy considering the level of quarterback play in the Pac-12.

Additionally, Sanders brought in eight wide receivers, incl Adam Hopkins, a four-star recruit from Georgia. There is also a running back Dylan Edwardswho converted after committing verbally to Notre Dame.

Of course, don’t forget the quarterback’s transfer name Shader Sanderswho just so happens to be the son of “Coach Prime” and has thrown 70 TD passes in two seasons at Jackson State.

Deion Sanders said He just warms upalso.

“It’s just a clincher, because there are a lot of people who are going to bungee jump into the gate after the spring because they’re going to be disappointed in the playtime or the commitment or the level of engagement that they embellish,” Sanders said. “We’re going to take full advantage of that. So we’re not done. This is just a spring break. But I like where we are and what we have.”

It didn’t take long for Sanders to settle into Boulder City, calling it a “hidden gem.” He can’t wait to move into a house and “dog run around the yard.” He doesn’t even mind the snow that covered Folsom Field on Wednesday. He bluntly said he wasn’t sure why any player would want to go anywhere else.

“We expect to bring in this baby,” Sanders said. “The only thing that could stop that kid from coming in and signing with us is a bag—someone who pays them, pays them group money or whatever. That’s it. Just beat the coverage. That’s it.”

“Because the coaching staff, the atmosphere, the city, the publicity, the structure, the discipline, the academics, the graduation rate, the food in the cafeteria—I could go on, because this thing gets better. Just everything. It’s hard to say no. It really is.”

He was listening to sports director Rick George, who appreciated the tone of what he heard. Sanders quickly built the framework for a quick turnaround.

“He brought so much energy and passion to this program again,” said George. “This is what we desperately need.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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