Colorado coach Deion Sanders knows his roster has holes, but has no plans to use money to fix it in the offseason.
“We’re not an ATM. That’s not gonna happen here,” Sanders said Tuesday. “If you come to Colorado to play football for me and the Colorado Buffaloes, it’s because you really want to play football and receive a wonderful education.
“All the business stuff will be handled on the backend. But we are not an ATM. You’re not coming here to get rich unless you’re really coming here with a plan to go to the NFL and get your degree. Not to come here and be Moneybagg Yo. That’s a rapper, right?”
Nine prospects are currently committed to Colorado’s 2024 class, which ranks 69th nationally and includes a pair of four-star prospects.
“We want players that want us,” Sanders said. “Trying to convince someone and doing that, being held hostage financially, we ain’t with that.
“We’re not going to buy anyone whatsoever,” Sanders continued. “We have tremendous needs. I’m pretty sure everyone in the country knows what we need and how much we need. That’s not a secret and recruits are responding.
“Trust me, there’s not a day that goes by that kids aren’t blowing our recruiting staff up. “They’re calling and we’re responding.”
Talan Chandler, one of Colorado’s two offensive line commitments in the class, flipped to Missouri earlier this week. And four-star 2025 commit Winston Watkins, who committed to Colorado the day Sanders was hired at Colorado, decommitted from the Buffaloes on Sunday.
“A kid ain’t even faithful to his girlfriend. You think (he’s) gonna be faithful to a school? Come on, man. That’s an emotional thing,” Sanders said. “What I wish the NCAA would do, if you’re committed somewhere, you can’t go on any other visits. If you’re committed, that means you’re committed.
“You can’t go on no other visits. Why would you be committed but you’re still letting kids go on other visits? That means you just playing.”
Some programs, most notably Clemson, have a policy of considering players who are still taking visits not committed to the program. However, commitments are non-binding by NCAA rules until players sign a letter of intent. Recruits can only sign letters of intent during a 72-hour window of the early signing period from Dec. 20-22 this year and after national signing day in February.
“We haven’t lost anything we want,” Sanders said. “Trust me on that one.”
Colorado took more transfers than any program in college football last year and figures to be a fixture in the transfer portal again in 2023. The 30-day portal window opens on Dec. 4, allowing coaches to contact players who have entered their names in the database and wish to be contacted with other opportunities. Players have 30 days to enter the portal but can select schools at any time.
“Last year, you had to fill a void of everything. This year, you’ve seen what we have and what we don’t have,” Sanders said. “Now, it’s more focused. …We know what we want and we’re gonna go get it. I promise you that.”
Colorado began the season 3-0 and rose into the top 20 but has lost seven of eight games since, with the lone win coming over 3-8 Arizona State. The Buffaloes lost 56-14 at Washington State last week and close the season at Utah on Saturday.
(Photo: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)