Every new player Deion Sanders has brought to Colorado heading into Saturday's spring game
Deion Sanders arrival at Colorado in December was met with a bang across college football in December, and once he got there he made one promise: "I'm bring my own luggage, it's Louis."
The insinuation being: That with his first Power 5 head coaching job, he would leave no stone unturned in recruiting, and he'd bring in a group that can compete right away.
While the roster still has a long way to go to compete at the top of the Pac-12, let alone the top of college football, it is crazy just how much talent Sanders brought in this winter.
With Colorado's spring game Saturday, we put together a full list of every new player who's committed to Colorado since Deion Sanders took over as head coach.
(Note: Not all players are enrolled and playing in the spring game. Some, like five-star cornerback Cormani McClain, won't arrive until the summer)
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Shedeur Sanders, QB, Jackson State: This was the most obvious player to transfer and follow Deion from Jackson State to Colorado. Coach Prime’s son has been very good so far in his college career and as a sophomore he threw for 3,083 yards and 32 touchdowns. He’ll be an instant upgrade for the Buffaloes at quarterback and he has a chance to make some real noise on the FBS level this season and beyond.
Kavosiey Smoke, RB, Kentucky: Smoke was at Kentucky for five seasons before entering the transfer portal. He’ll be a super senior at Colorado. He had 1,583 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns during his career at Kentucky and averaged 5.2 yards per carry. He’ll most likely be the starting running back for the Buffaloes and he brings a toughness and explosiveness to the backfield that was lacking a ton for the Buffaloes.
Jimmy Horn Jr., WR, South Florida: Horn was one of the best transfers in the entire portal and Sanders got him to be the primary wideout for the Buffaloes this season. In two seasons in South Florida, he had 67 receptions, 959 receiving yards, and four touchdowns. He should thrive in Colorado’s new wide-open offense and has potential to really breakout this season thanks to Sean Lewis and Shedeur Sanders.
Travis Hunter, CB/WR, Jackson State: This was the crown jewel of Deion’s transfer haul so far. Hunter is an unreal athlete who can be a shutdown corner, return kicks and punts, and even catch passes when needed on offense. This was the next obvious pick-up for Colorado after Shedeur Sanders. Hunter was great last season as a cornerback when he had 20 tackles, two interceptions, 10 pass breakups, and a fumble recovery. He’s the best player Colorado has this year and he’ll be utilized in any way possible to help them win.
Xavier Weaver, WR, South Florida: Weaver comes to Colorado after being a very good receiver at South Florida. In four years, Weaver appeared in 38 games for the Bulls. He earned All-AAC second team honors this year after having 718 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He should be a very good target for the Buffaloes this year and be reliable when needed.
Willie Gaines, WR, Jackson State: Gaines is another Jackson State player that followed Deion to Colorado. Gaines was at Jackson State for one year, and he had seven catches, 79 receiving yards, and a touchdown, and he returned 10 punts for 81 yards. He provides depth for Colorado as a playmaker on the outside, so expect him to see the field at some point.
Champion Johnson, TE/FB, Cal: Johnson has decided to transfer within the conference from Cal to Colorado. He walked-on at Cal before joining his brother with Coach Prime for this upcoming season, Victory Johnson. He can play fullback and tight end and could see the field because of that versatility.
Seydou Traore, TE, Arkansas State: Traore was a big pickup for Deion in the portal as a tight end. He brings a receiving presence that this team hasn’t had. He was a first-team All-Sun Belt selection last season with 50 receptions, 655 receiving yards, and four touchdowns this year. He has the versatility to be a huge part of this Colorado offense under Sean Lewis.
Landon Bebee, IOL, Missouri State: Bebee is another player upgrading a level from the FCS level to the FBS level. He wasn’t ranked coming out of high school but was sought after out of Missouri State. He’s an immediate impact transfer that can help revitalize an awful Colorado offensive line. He also comes in at 6’3” and weighing 295 pounds which is needed in the trenches.
Tyler Brown, IOL, Jackson State: Brown is another player to follow Deion from Jackson State. He’ll add some much-needed help on the offensive line where he comes in at 6’3” and 320 lbs. to add some big bodies up front.
Jack Bailey, IOL, Kent State: Bailey is going to Colorado to help the Buffaloes on the offensive line. He comes over with a lot of experience on his side and the three-star offensive lineman should be in the rotation for a Buffaloes team that needs as much help as possible in the trenches.
Yousef Mugharbil, OT, Florida: Mugharbil is a much-needed help for the Buffaloes at offensive line. He’ll come in and start right away because the Buffaloes need a lot of help in the trenches, and he fits in very well there.
Savion Washington, OT, Kent State: Deion and Colorado beat out four other Power 5 schools for Washington’s services. Washington stands at 6’8” and 342 lbs. and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play for Deion and his former head coach, Sean Lewis too. He was one of the best offensive linemen in the portal and will start right away for the Buffaloes because of how much help they need on the offensive line.
Jordan Domineck, EDGE, Arkansas: Jordan Domenick has bounced around a lot. He started at Georgia Tech for four seasons, then went to Arkansas, and is now back at Colorado. During his five years in college football, he has 137 total tackles, 2 pass deflections, 16.5 sacks, and six forced fumbles. He brings some much-needed experience to a Colorado defensive line that needs a lot of help.
Taylor Upshaw, EDGE, Michigan: Upshaw spent four seasons at Michigan, with his best season being last year. He played in all 14 games and finished with 4.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks on the year. He was a three-star recruit out of high school, but he’s the latest recruit in a pattern that Deion has with the defensive line, which is experience.
Marshawn Kneeland, EDGE, Western Michigan: Marshawn Kneeland transferred from home to play for Deion. He didn’t do much the past few seasons at Western Michigan and in total had 20.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, and three batted down passes. He figures to be a good depth piece for Colorado on the defensive line.
Shane Cokes, EDGE, Dartmouth: Cokes was a standout in the Ivy League in his three seasons at Dartmouth. He started the last 20 games that Dartmouth played in and 22 games total. The last two years were when he emerged as a dominant force. He was a second-team All-Ivy league selection the last two seasons. He had 87 tackles, 14 for loss, and 8.5 sacks during his entire time with Dartmouth. He’ll be an interesting pickup on the defensive line for Deion.
Taijh Alston, DL, West Virginia: Alston comes over from West Virginia with one year of eligibility left to help a defensive line that badly needs help. He had 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks in his career before he came over from West Virginia. He also had 18 total tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles in seven games this past year. He’ll be a difference maker up front.
Leonard Payne, DL, Fresno State: Payne brings some much-needed depth to the Colorado defensive line. He stands at 6’3” and 310 lbs. and appeared in 31 games across the last three seasons. He had 10 tackles, 2 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery this past season.
LaVonta Bentley, LB, Clemson: Bentley decided to transfer from Clemson after four seasons with the Tigers. He should be an instant impact at linebacker and last season he appeared in 13 games and finished with 21 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and a sack on the season. He’s exactly what the Buffaloes need at linebacker and should be a force there this season.
Demouy Kennedy, LB, Alabama: Kennedy comes over from Alabama after three years. He saw most of his time on the field at special teams. This past year he saw time in five games, before suffering an injury that kept him out the rest of the year. He went to high school in Alabama and is a former four-star recruit. He brings some toughness with him to Colorado and some experience to a defense that needs it.
Kyndrich Breedlove, CB, Ole Miss: Breedlove had a hard time seeing the field for Ole Miss the last two season. He only had one total tackle the last two years and saw action in one game against Arkansas this year. He still brings in experience to a defensive backfield that desperately needs help, and he saw the appeal of being coached by one of the best defensive backs ever in Coach Prime.
Tayvion Beasley, CB, Jackson State: Beasley didn’t see the field much last season as a true freshman but did grab one interception when he did. He follows Coach Prime to Colorado and is closer to being home after coming out of high school in California. He should see snaps at Colorado on defense.
Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig, S, Jackson State: Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig was one of several Jackson State players that followed Deion to Colorado. In two seasons at Jackson State, he had 111 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four sacks, and five interceptions. He’ll see time because of his relationship with Deion.
Myles Slusher, S, Arkansas: Slusher flipped from Louisville to Colorado, and he’ll be an impact safety immediately. He transferred after an off-field incident last season, while he contributed all three seasons he was in Arkansas. Last season alone, he had 28 total tackles, 5 for a loss, and 2 sacks in just six games. He should start for the Buffaloes at safety this season.
Jace Feely, K, Arizona State: Feely is transferring from another Pac-12 rival at Arizona State. He’s the son of former NFL kicker, Jay Feely, but hasn’t started yet. He was the backup last year for the Sun Devils and had a decent high school kicking career too.
Alejandro Mata, K, Jackson State: Deion’s bringing over his kicker from Jackson State who was a freshman last year and he went 12-13 from field goal range, with a long of 38 yards.
Mark Vassett, P, Louisville: Deion even added a new Australian punter to the team after bringing him over from Louisville.
High School Recruits/JUCO commits
Kasen Weisman, QB, Douglasville: Weisman committed to the Buffaloes over Kansas. He has a chance to thrive for the Buffaloes eventually. He was a three-star recruit and stands at 6’2” 170 lbs. and committed to Colorado specifically because of Coach Prime.
Ryan Staub, QB, West Ranch: Staub is the second quarterback in this class and has a very good frame at 6’1” and 190 lbs. Staub was looked at by Arizona, but Colorado sold him, and he has a chance to be decent in Boulder as a back-up this year.
Dylan Edwards, RB, Derby: Edwards is a huge pickup for Deion and Colorado. Edwards was one of the first players to commit to Colorado under Deion. He cited the bond he had with Deion as the biggest reason why he committed. He should be in the running back rotation right away.
Adam Hopkins, WR, Thomas County Central: Hopkins was a four-star wide receiver out of Georgia. He decided to go to Colorado over Auburn. He’s one of the best receivers that Colorado’s gotten in recent years and should see the field this year because of his talent.
Omarion Miller, WR, North Caddo: Colorado beat out Nebraska for Miller. He’s a big four-star playmaker at receiver and might even start out wide for Colorado because of the size he offers.
Miller is a huge get for the Buffaloes.
Asaad Waseem, WR, Wekiva: Waseem is one of multiple receivers Deion and his staff have gotten commitments from. He’s a three-star and stands at 5’10” 166 lbs. He’ll be one of a bunch of receivers Deion can use in their new fast-paced offense.
Jacob Page, WR, Smyrna: Colorado beat out Tennessee in his home state for him. Page joins a loaded receiver class that already has more talent than Colorado’s had at that position in a while. He’s a three-star recruit that stands at 6’2” 180 lbs. and should have a role in some fashion next year.
Jordan Onovughe, WR, Mater Dei: Onovughe chose Colorado over Stanford. His recruitment was even more unique because he committed to the interim staff and then Deion’s staff still liked him, so he stayed. He was the leading receiver at power-house Mater Dei last season with 40 catches, 457 receiving yards, and four touchdowns.
Isaiah Hardge, WR, St. Thomas Aquinas: Hardge comes in as a three-star receiver out of powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas. He’s 5’9” and weighs 158 lbs. and should bring in some quickness at the receiver position for the Buffaloes.
Morgan Pearson, WR/LB, Plainview: Pearson is a playmaker. He played defense and offense this year in high school and made plays across the board. He had 14 total touchdowns, and three interception returns. He also had six total interceptions and tow kick return touchdowns. He’ll be used in some way this season, it’s just a matter of how.
Jack Wilty, IOL, Iowa Central Community College: Wilty is an experienced offensive line that brings in some much-needed help for the Buffaloes. Wilty’s experience is what could be a difference-maker and he’ll see the field because of that.
Hank Zilinskas, OT, Cherry Creek: Hank Zilinskas is a good piece Colorado got from in-state. He’ll be a very good depth piece on the offensive line as a three-star recruit.
Isaiah Jatta, OT, Helix: Jatta is one of the best JUCO recruits in this class. He’s the #23 overall JUCO recruit and the #5 JUCO offensive lineman. He’s a physical beast and is at 6’6” and 315 lbs., he should start on the line this year.
Taje McCoy, EDGE, Putnam City: Deion and Colorado beat out Baylor and Missouri mainly for McCoy. He’s a big body that can help the Buffaloes on the defensive line, where they need the most help.
Kofi Taylor-Barrocks, LB, NFL Academy London: Barrocks comes in from England and was a lock to go to Jackson State but is now following Deion to Colorado. He’s raw with his talent and is a three-star linebacker, but he has a lot of talent to mine. Barrocks is a project but has talent that could lead him to see the field this year at times.
Victory Johnson, LB, Cathedral Catholic: Johnson comes in as a decent sized linebacker that’ll see playing time right away in the linebacking corps. His brother also transferred in too. At 6’4” and 230 lbs, Johnson has the talent to impact Colorado from the jump.
Cormani McClain, CB, Lakeland: McClain was the biggest pickup in Colorado’s recruiting class this year. The five-star freshman out of Florida chose to go play for Deion over the Miami Hurricanes, with offers from Alabama, Florida and pretty much everyone else in college football. What sets him apart is his size for a defensive back. He’s 6’1” and weighs 160 lbs., which is different for a defensive back. McClain might not start right away just because of experience, but he’s going to play next year and it’s just a matter of how quickly he ends up starting.
Anthony Richardson, CB, Butler Community College: Richardson is a big pickup for Colorado out of the JUCO ranks. He committed to Deion after being an All-American at JUCO level and he should have an immediate impact for the Buffaloes, with a chance to start.
Carter Stoutmire, CB, Prestonwood Christian: Stoutmire is a three-star recruit out of Texas that committed to the Buffaloes over Arizona. He’s 5’11” and weighs 170 lbs. He has talent too and should see some time this year in a secondary that needs help.
Jaden Milliner-Jones, S, DeSoto: Jones comes into Colorado as a three-star recruit that can have an immediate impact in the secondary. Jones should see some time at safety because of his talent and coaching under Coach Deion.
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