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Deion Sanders hired by Colorado: Will Prime Time bring back the Buffs?

“Coach Prime” is taking his star to Boulder, CO. Can he resurrect this struggling Pac-12 program?

It was only a matter of time before “Coach Prime” landed himself a Power Five job and he will now be bringing his star to the Rocky Mountains.

Hayes Fawcett of On3.com first reported Saturday night that Colorado has hired Deion Sanders to become its next head football coach. The move comes on the heels of the NFL Hall of Famer leading Jackson State to a 43-24 victory over Southern in the SWAC Championship Game on Saturday, completing a perfect 12-0 season for the HBCU power. Terms of the contract have not been released yet but it is believed that the CU brass broke open the bank and will pay their new head coach well over $5 million yearly in Boulder, CO.

A charismatic football personality long before getting into coaching, Sanders was hired by Jackson State in 2020 to become its new head coach. Tasked with revitalizing the fallen SWAC titan, “Prime Time” immediately brought a level of national attention to both JSU and HBCU football in general not seen in recent memory.

After posting a modest 4-3 record during the FCS’ truncated spring 2021 season, the Tigers began to dominate that fall. With his son Shedeur operating the controls at quarterback, JSU posted an 11-2 record and claimed its first SWAC Championship since 2007. Already recruiting Power Five level players to the program, Sanders sent shockwaves throughout the college football world that December when he flipped No. 1 recruit Travis Hunter from Florida State (Prime’s alma mater) to JSU.

The buzz surrounding “Prime” continued to grow this season as Jackson State cruised to an undefeated run throughout the fall. Profiles by 60 Minutes and a visit from ESPN’s College Gameday put him in an even bigger spotlight, with many speculating that he would be considered for openings like Auburn. With schools like Colorado, USF, and Cincinnati reportedly inquiring for his services, the head coach ultimately decided to bring his show out to the Pac-12.

This is a big swing on Colorado’s end, who fired former head coach Karl Dorrell in the middle of what turned out to be a miserable 1-11 campaign this fall. The program has largely been irrelevant on the national stage since the Bill McCartney era and is has just two winning seasons since joining the Pac-12 in 2011. The power brokers around the Buffaloes’ program have seemingly woken up and are finally ready to give the program the shot in the arm it needs. We’ll see if Sanders can actually turn Colorado into a winner.