Colorado head football coach Deion Sanders proudly displayed the Buffaloes’ colors during the NFL Honors awards ceremony Thursday, dressed in a sharp black suit with gold pocket square.
As he took his turn to present an award, Sanders said to those in attendance and the millions watching on TV, “I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to recruit. I need all your cousins … your nephews. Send ’em right to Colorado. We good? We don’t have no NIL money, either, by the way.”
After landing the nation’s 21st-ranked recruiting class during his first two months on the job, Sanders clearly doesn’t need the NFL Honors platform to recruit players, but he continues to put CU in a spotlight that hasn’t shined on the Buffs in a long time.
When CU hired Sanders and gave him a five-year, $29.5-million contract in December, it did so with the intention of trying to become a consistent winner for the first time in nearly two decades. Sanders’ celebrity status and frequent national appearances — often in CU gear — have already made him worthy of the most lucrative deal ever given to a Buffs’ coach.
Shortly after dining among CU student-athletes at the Champions Center for lunch Wednesday, Sanders headed to Glendale, Ariz., site of Sunday’s Super Bowl LVII, where he not only attended the NFL Honors ceremony, but made numerous appearances along radio row.
A Pro Football Hall of Famer who also spent many years as an analyst for CBS, ESPN and the NFL Network, Sanders is a big personality who has the credentials to speak on a number of topics. While he was representing Oikos Greek yogurt — Sanders and his family will star in a commercial during Sunday’s game — a popular topic for Sanders in his appearances this week was his new job with the Buffaloes.
Sitting at microphones broadcast to various audiences around the country, Sanders repeatedly expressed his love of Boulder, the Buffs and coaching.
“Boulder’s unbelievable, man. I absolutely love it,” he said on the Rich Eisen Show.
Eisen, who worked with Sanders on the NFL Network, then asked Sanders how quickly he can build at Colorado.
Referencing his transformational three seasons at Jackson State, Sanders said, “We have the blueprint. We just did it. We plan on doing it again.”
Long-time NFL writer Peter King hosted Sanders on his podcast and asked Sanders if he dreams of facing Alabama and Nick Saban in a national title game.
“Nah, I don’t pick the opponent,” Sanders said. “I don’t give a darn who’s on the other side of the field. I just know where I’m gonna be. Not where I want to be; where I’m gonna be in due time. We’re gonna make it there, I’m sure of that. That’s not a fantasy, that’s a reality.”
Sanders, of course, is confident he can win. He’s expressed that confidence since Day 1 with the Buffs. But, he also continues to shine light on Boulder and the Buffs and the love he has for his job as a coach.
“It’s not a job. It’s not a path. It’s real,” he told King. “It’s genuine and it’s something I love.
“I absolutely adore these young men. I adore sitting down with the families and understanding the dynamics of the family and then understanding how can I assist that kid in getting to his destination.”
While Sanders talked to King, former NFL cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones walked up and hugged Sanders and kissed him on the head. Jones then got emotional as he remembered Sanders helping him get through difficult times. The two remain close.
“This is why he will be the best coach, the best recruiter that college football ever seen,” Jones said. “I’m not saying this just because it’s my man. Like … I can go through story after story.
“He’s going to get to the job done (at Colorado).”
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