BUFFS

Shedeur and Shilo Sanders fire back about transfers leaving CU

Apr 18, 2024, 2:29 PM | Updated: 2:44 pm

Shedeur Sanders, Deion Sanders, Shilo Sanders and Deion Sanders Jr....

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

There are plenty of players who just transferred to play for the Colorado Buffaloes a few months ago that are already leaving Boulder for new homes. Those student-athletes are among the exodus of guys who have announced that they are in the transfer portal, which opened this week. Two of the biggest Buffs stars, Shedeur Sanders and Shilo Sanders, called out the reason why those players left on Thursday.

So far, 18 players have ditched the black and gold in the past three weeks, and while there is the hype of Deion Sanders saying he’ll bring in better players than what the team lost, some of the departures are concerning. The most notable exit has been that of five-star recruit Cormani McClain. The soon-to-be sophomore defensive back was Coach Prime’s prized addition to the Buffs from the preps during the coach’s first cycle.

More important losses for the Buffs include young impact safety Jaden Milliner-Jones, starting offensive tackle Savion Washington, former AAC Rookie of the Year running back Alton McCaskill and supposed starting tight end Chamon Metayer.

“If you’re good, you’re going to play,” Shilo Sanders said to the media on Thursday. “A lot of people talk about favoritism stuff but I’ve seen that at other schools that actually might be like that. I promise you if you’re good you’re going to play, you’ll have more of an opportunity here to legit actually display your skills.”

The former South Carolina safety transferred to Jackson State to be with his father Deion and then joined his family in Boulder last fall.

“If you’re not playing here, that just means you’re doing something wrong,” the team’s starting quarterback Shedeur Sanders said at the same news conference on Thursday, cutting off his older brother. “If you’re not playing here that means you’re doing something—not listening to the coaches or something.

“Not everybody sees behind the scenes in practice and we know who these guys really are,” Shilo said, finishing up his brother’s point. “They might get on Instagram or Twitter or say something but it’s not like you’re even doing anything bro. Y’all don’t know what is going on at practice every day because you just see highlight plays here and there but we practice every day almost. We know who is who and if somebody was done wrong we would know that.”

YouTube video

The Sanders brothers’ father and coach, Deion, had a different take on the portal—calling out the media for the way it’s been covered.

“I wish you guys would do a little more homework when you start talking about the portal and understand what we are losing,” Sanders said before he started quizzing the media. “What are we losing? Who are we losing? Potential starters, where? You haven’t been watching practice, have you?”

CU’s practices are closed to not just the public but the media too—representing the fallacy in Sanders’ thoughts. How is a group of people without access to the information supposed to get it 100% factual? Obviously, the coach does not want people to know what’s really going on within his walls—something he’s deferred to saying himself whenever he lacks an explanation for his feelings.

While some may see Coach Prime as ubiquitous—given his nonstop media tour, the “documentary” filmed about his team and the daily vlogs—what’s true is that it is all controlled by him and his people. Sanders’ media company is the one making the behind-the-scenes Amazon show and the vlogs come from his son or other people extremely close to him. The truth is, there’s no homework to do on the Buffs because there’s not much material to work with. The details that are given to the world carry so much hype that it’s hard for fans to not get upset when things don’t work out with a player they were told could change the program.

“We’re good I trust the recruiting team. I trust our coaches and please have some faith in me,” Sanders pleaded. “We good, we alright. What happens with the portal man, you guys need to know, a lot of people are fighting for backups. When a guy’s a starter, and he transfers you got to really think about that. I mean, is he really that? I don’t know how many starters have really transferred around the country. I think we got some (starting level players) coming in from visits pretty soon, maybe even this weekend. But we can attract those types of players but I don’t think we’re losing those types of players. And if we do, we’re good.”

At the very least, Colorado lost some decent depth to the portal. At most, the Buffs have lost a few starters and several rational pieces. Prime has indeed raised the profile and expectations, yet it’s also not a given that what comes in will always be better than what goes out. In the same breath, Sanders admits the thing he’s looking for in the portal is likely what Colorado just lost—depth.

“You were always looking for depth. I think every coach wants depth you want depth at the offensive line we want to bring in several more of those guys. Defensive interior guys as well,” Sanders said about CU seeking. “… Quit making a big deal out of nothing. I want to say so much stuff but I can’t, God I want to say so much stuff but I keep remembering I am a head coach… I know where we are. You’ll find out where we are real soon.”

We likely won’t really know where CU is real soon—we’ll know in the fall when they actually take the field. All the offseason depth charts and plotting may as well be null because college sports in general is a revolving door of people wearing laundry to please the machine and Colorado happens to be the most efficient program at spinning onto the next student-athlete over the last two years.

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Shedeur and Shilo Sanders fire back about transfers leaving CU