Deion Sanders vows that Colorado will reach a bowl game

BOULDER, Colo. –  Colorado football coach Deion Sanders put on a short, wet display of football talent Saturday here at Folsom Field. It only lasted about an hour. The announced crowd of 28,424 also included plenty of no-shows who didn’t want to sit through the cold and rain at the second annual intrasquad spring game since his hiring.

But the performance was enough for Sanders to confirm what he already knew: This team is good enough to go to a bowl game this year.

“We’re gonna get it,” he said.

He renewed this promise before the game, when he addressed the poncho-wearing crowd to express his gratitude for braving the weather. He also called out Peggy Coppom, Colorado’s 99-year-old superfan.

“God bless all of you,” he told the crowd. “I would be remiss not to start our season out … without acknowledging the beautiful Miss Peggy. Where you at girl? Where’s Peggy? Peggy, wherever you are, we love you. We appreciate you and our goal is we’re gonna get you to a bowl game lady.”

Coppom was keeping dry far above the field, where the football action below included a running clock and only two quarters of scrimmage play. Using an unconventional scoring system, the offense then beat the defense, 29-24. Sanders’ quarterback son Shedeur Sanders threw the first touchdown of the game – a 19-yard pass to a new transfer teammate he helped recruit to the team – LaJohntay Wester from Florida Atlantic.

“The progress that we’ve made is another caliber of player that’s playing – a player that truly expects to go to the next level, meaning the NFL,” Sanders said.

Shedeur only played three series and completed 10 of 14 passes and one touchdown.

 “The kid can flat-out play,” Deion Sanders said.

What else happened Saturday?

Shedeur was asked by a reporter afterward if he was disappointed that the NFL’s Denver Broncos drafted a quarterback in the first round Thursday – Bo Nix of Oregon. Some local fans were hoping the Broncos would hold off on drafting a quarterback until next year, when Shedeur is expected to be a top pick.

“Yeah, man, I don’t know what’s next now,” Shedeur Sanders said about the Broncos’ move.

He was joking. But he was also serious when he said this team is better physically and mentally, including himself. He ended last season with a fractured back after his offensive line surrendered the second-most quarterback sacks in the nation last year, when the Buffaloes finished 4-8.

“I’m feeling great right now,” he said.

The roster is different, too. At least 33 scholarship players have left the team since last November, most of them to transfer to other schools, including running back Dylan Edwards, last year’s leading rusher. The Buffs even moved a cornerback to running back Saturday because of the depleted depth at that position – redshirt freshman Isaiah Hardge, who raced to the end zone on a 40-yard touchdown run Saturday.

At the same time, at least 30 new transfer players are coming in to Boulder or are already enrolled, including at least seven offensive linemen.

“It’s definitely a lot of highs and lows, even with the portal going on, but I feel we got all the negative energy out of the building,” Shedeur said of the spring.

Deion Sanders on his future

Deion Sanders was asked about his future again Saturday with speculation swirling about what he might do after Shedeur Sanders and his safety brother Shilo leave the team next year to enter the NFL draft.

“I don’t follow my kids,” he said. “I pave roads for my kids. I build generational wealth for my kids. I lead my kids. I don’t follow my kids. So, I do not plan on following my kids to the NFL.”

He reiterated his love for Colorado and said he wants his own Coach Prime snowmobile line for the winters.

“I love everything about this part of the country and the fan base that we have here,” he said. “I just want to really bless you with a tremendously successful team. I really do. That’s my heart.”

What about that offensive line?

None of the starting five linemen who finished the season in 2023 are even on the team anymore after four transferred out and one exhausted his college eligibility. This fulfilled Deion Sanders’ promise of sorts last year, when he said he needed to “go get new linemen” as his quarterback son kept getting battered as a result of poor line play.

On Saturday, the 15th and final practice of the spring, the new starting line included freshman tackle Jordan Seaton, the No. 1 tackle recruit in the nation, along with Indiana transfer tackle Kahlil Benson and guard Justin Mayers, a transfer from UTEP. Overall, the offense yielded four sacks Saturday.

“Those guys are really close,” Deion Sanders said. “Not just the starters.”

About that Colorado weather and mascot Ralphie

Colorado’s famed bison mascot wasn’t allowed to run on the field because of the wet weather. The announced crowd still was the second-biggest crowd for a spring game in school history, besting the crowd of 17,800 in 2008 but less than last year, when the game sold out with more than 44,000 in Deion Sanders’ first spring.

It was the second straight year that precipitation spoiled the show after last year’s snowfall.

One day earlier, it was sunny and warm in Boulder, drawing dismay from Sanders about Colorado’s mercurial weather.

“Thank God no one was injured, no one was hurt,” Deion Sanders said.

New scholarship player

The team had another reason to celebrate Saturday after Deion Sanders awarded walk-on running back Charlie Offerdahl with a scholarship. Sanders has praised Offerdahl’s work ethic since Sanders was hired in December 2022.

“It’s unbelievable,” Offerdahl said. “All the praise, all the glory to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. I really want to thank everybody at this organization, all of Colorado, Coach Prime. It’s a blessing.”

Offerdahl, a junior from Littleton, Colorado, said he likes to eat spaghetti and meatballs before games to prepare but didn’t play Saturday because he said he was recovering from intestinal damage sustained in a previous scrimmage.

Coach Prime’s big weekend

Deion Sanders served as one of the judges at a talent show Thursday where 20 groups and performers competed for a $4,200 cash prize in front of a small but energetic crowd at the CU Events Center. The free-admission show featured a number of creative and uplifting music and dance performances, but a poor sound system and technical difficulties often marred the event entitled “Prime’s Got Talent.”

A concert performance by Lil Wayne was scheduled to follow the spring game Saturday at the same campus arena. It’s not clear if Coach Prime would perform on stage as well.

Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer @Schrotenboer. Email:

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