BUFFS

Coach Prime on track, adds four starters in one day at key spot

Dec 9, 2023, 9:57 PM | Updated: 9:59 pm

No offensive line in the country was worse than the Colorado Buffaloes this past year, but Deion Sanders has done a lot of work early in the offseason to correct the issue heading into 2024.

This week Sanders announced former NFL lineman Phil Loadholt will lead the unit, and the man in charge of the big boys has already nailed the talent acquisition portion of his gig. On Saturday alone, four starting offensive linemen from other FBS programs committed from the transfer portal to join Coach Prime in Boulder.

Colorado has added Houston’s starting left guard Tyler Johnson, UTEP’s starting left guard Justin Mayers, UConn starting’s center Yakiri Walker and Indiana’s starting right tackle Kahlil Benson. That’s in addition to the Buffaloes big recruiting win this week, getting top offensive line prospect Jordan Seaton to commit on Thursday.

According to Brian Howell’s research, the trio of Johnson, Mayers and Walker have combined for 58 starts and only five sacks allowed in 2,137 pass-blocking snaps the past two seasons. Benson has been just about as good, starting 12 games in 2023 and five in 2022, and he only allowed a single sack in 2023 and three in his whole career.

The resume is impressive for a group who will be tasked with blocking for Shedeur Sanders. Sanders got pummeled in his first year in Boulder, sacked more than any other quarterback in the country. Coach Prime said twice that his son received pain injections during games to keep him on the field. And the gunslinger’s season ended with a missed game due to a back fracture.

Despite the lackluster line play, Sanders still broke the school’s record for passing yards in a season which is now 3,230, and was just two passing touchdowns shy of that program record.

More impressive for Sanders’ numbers was not only the beating he took but Colorado’s run game was dead last in the country thanks in part due to little push from their bodies up front.

Now offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will have no excuses with a respectable line, all rebuilt over a single weekend in Boulder.

Colorado also added former NC State wideout Terrell Timmons Jr on Saturday.

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