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Deion Sanders Given Support from Colorado AD After 57 Players Enter Transfer Portal

Julia Stumbaugh

Since the University of Colorado Boulder hired head coach Deion Sanders in December 2022, a total of 57 players have entered the transfer portal.

Colorado athletic director Rick George told ESPN's Heather Dinich on May 4 that he remains confident in Sanders' complete overhaul of the roster.

"I have confidence in him and his staff and they know what they're doing," George said. "... He's been very honest and forthright. He's been very open about it publicly and privately. He's trying to build a winner at Colorado, and this is his way to do it."

The Buffaloes went 1-11 last season, their worst record since 2012.

Sanders spent three seasons coaching at Jackson State. He led the Tigers to a 12-1 record, including a clean slate in Southwestern Athletic Conference play, in 2022.

By the time Sanders' move to the Pac-12 was announced on December 3, 14 Colorado players had already entered the transfer portal, according to ESPN's Stats & Information. Sanders made it immediately clear that number was going to rise in his first meeting with the team.

"I'm coming, and when I get here, it's gonna be change," Sanders told the team in December, per BuffZone. "So, I want you all to get ready to go ahead and jump in the [transfer] portal and do whatever you're gonna get, because the more of you jump in, the room you make. We're bringing kids that are smart, tough, fast, disciplined with character. That's the ones we're gonna get. Is that you?"

Entrances to the transfer portal spiked this spring. Since the opening of the portal on April 15, at least 42 players have departed, including wide receiver Montana Lemonious-Craig. Offensive tackle Travis Gray, whose father Lamarr won a national championship with Colorado in 1990, was another transfer.

"When [Sanders] first came in, he said, 'There's a lot of people here who may not be here,' because he evaluated and looked at the talent on our team," George said. "He's just publicly stated it, where a lot of people don't. We're not the first to do this."

George said that some players wanted to leave after spring practices, while others departed due to an NCAA rule that allows first-year head coaches to cut players on scholarships.

A Colorado spokesperson told ESPN that four of those students have chosen to stay with the school. They will retain their scholarships but not play on the team next season.


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