BUFFS

Prime’s Buffs haul three skilled players away from major programs

Dec 17, 2023, 3:38 PM | Updated: 4:44 pm

Deion Sanders successes in the transfer portal continued over the weekend when the Colorado Buffaloes got word from four impact college football players that they will be transferring to Boulder.

The legendary multi-sport start-turned-coach is in the process of turning around the Buffs, taking them from a winner of a game to victorious in four in his first season. The early returns were built a lot on wins in the portal and now Coach Prime is trying to build off his first year by adding even more talent via transfers.

On Sunday, Sanders got commitments from three players, all who were at major programs who may help CU big-time. Former Vanderbilt quarterback Walter Taylor, former TCU wide receiver Cordale Russell and former LSU defensive lineman Quency Wiggins all joined the black and gold. And on Saturday, Sanders nabbed one of the best defenders from the G5, getting defensive back Preston Hodge from Liberty.

Taylor follows stud wide-out Will Sheppard in ditching the Commodores’ black and gold for the duds in Boulder. Sheppard is expected to be the top target for CU’s star quarterback for Shedeur Sanders while Taylor is another candidate to back him up, joining another SEC quarterback transfer from this week in Destin Wade and youngster Ryan Staub. Taylor is a giant lefty in the pocket, coming in at 6-foot-7, 235 pounds. He was a three-star prospect coming out of high school in Alabama and was one of three quarterbacks at Vandy to throw a pass this season, competing five of 15 attempts with a pick.

Russell has yet to make an impact in college football but was a blue chipper coming out of high school. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder was a four-star prospect, ranked No. 11 in Texas and No. 12 among receivers in the 2023 coming out of high school. A two-way player at that level, he plays edge on defense while running on the 4×100 relay team. He played some snaps this season at TCU but hasn’t had a catch, and he can count those few opportunities as a redshirt meaning the Buffs have him for four seasons. Between Taylor and Sheppard CU should have more than enough to make up for the loss of Xavier Weaver.

The biggest name and body headed to Boulder from this weekend’s loot is Wiggins. The No. 1 prospect in the state of Louisiana coming out of high school, the 6-foot-6, 265-pound edge struggled to get onto the field for LSU but made four tackles in the Citrus Bowl last season. This year Wiggins was limited to a few dozen snaps. Still, he’ll have three years to play in Boulder and is already projected as a possible future second-round NFL Draft pick.

Hodge will only be in Boulder one season, but he’s the most experienced of the bunch, playing in 25 games during his two seasons at Liberty—where he won the CUSA title this year. The DB started one game at free safety, one at corner and eight at star. He made 48 tackles, three for a loss, snagged two picks and broke up eight passes and was ranked 22nd-best among all defensive backs in the country by Pro Football Focus.

Colorado is filling in their roster nicely, getting about a dozen transfers over the past week and a half.

UPDATE: Colorado added a fourth player from a big-time school, getting Alabama rotational defensive lineman Anquin Barnes.

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