Deion Sanders Era Begins at Colorado with Record-Setting Spring Game

Deion Sanders Era Begins at Colorado with Record-Setting Spring Game

The Deion Sanders era at the University of Colorado began on Saturday with a record-setting spring football game. Last year, the game had fewer than 2,000 attendees, but the new-look Buffs, led by Sanders, drew a sellout crowd of over 45,000 to Folsom Field in Boulder despite near-freezing temperatures and snow.

Sanders, who was hired away from Jackson State in December, made a grand entrance wearing a cowboy hat and a T-shirt that read “I AIN’T HARD TO FIND” with a jacket that had “PRIME” on it. During the game, Sanders was more of a hype man and emcee than a playcaller, conducting the band, participating in in-game interviews, and even controlling the crowd’s volume with hand gestures.

Sanders began the game by allowing 98-year-old Colorado superfan Peggy Coppom to take the opening kickoff. Sanders escorted Coppom up to the ball, which she kicked to a huge cheer. After the game, Sanders called Coppom the MVP.

Sanders’ son Shedeur, who transferred from Jackson State, led the Buffs’ offense and threw several touchdowns, including a 98-yard score to returning wide receiver Montana Lemonious-Craig. Lemonious-Craig and Shedeur combined for 154 yards and two touchdowns, while Shedeur also had a rushing touchdown.

Sanders’ recruiting has already paid dividends, as he was able to bring former top overall recruit Travis Hunter from Jackson State to Boulder. Hunter, a cornerback coming out of high school, will attempt to play both sides of the ball as a wide receiver this upcoming season. On Saturday, Hunter caught three passes from Shedeur and did not allow a catch on defense.

The glimpses of star qualities that players like Lemonious-Craig, Shedeur, and Hunter showed on Saturday may be a preview of what the future holds for Sanders and the Buffs, but they will have their work cut out for them in the Pac-12, where most of the offenses are equally, if not more, explosive. Nonetheless, the main takeaway from Saturday’s spring game was clear: a new era of Colorado football has arrived.


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