BOULDER — If one source is a fluke, two’s a pattern. So my ears perked up a bit when a pair of CU Buffs types whispered to me last week that Deion Sanders was looking for, at minimum, 15-20 new players coming out of spring ball.
After what came out of Saturday afternoon’s news conference, you start to wonder if that number was a little low.
I turned up at the Champions Center on Easter eve to inquire about transfers, and offensive line transfers — the Buffs added another former Kent State blocker, Jack Bailey, a few days earlier — in particular.
But when I asked if CU’s big lugs were meeting his standards, Coach Prime just sort of … sat there.
He paused. He hemmed. He hawed.
After an uncomfortable silence, he said this:
“The team that we’re playing with now is not the team that we’re going to play with in Texas (at TCU on Sept. 2) the first game.”
“Do I need to say anymore?”
Sanders continued anyway.
“It’s not gonna be that,” the new Buffs coach stressed. “It’s gonna be a lot of new faces. A lot of new attitudes. A lot of new understandings and a lot of new wants and desires. And you‘ve got to have it. There’s got to be a sense of urgency.
“One of the things I talked about in the beginning was, ‘Don’t allow yesterday to cripple you.’ And then you’re fearful of tomorrow (as) well, and still you’re missing today. I don’t understand that. But they will.”
I looked at the calendar. April 8. Two weeks away from the Buffs’ sold-out spring game. And seven days from April 15.
April 15, this coming Saturday, is when the next transfer portal window opens up for Division I college football.
(For clarity, per the NCAA, the spring transfer window for Division I football runs April 15-30. The “other sports” spring transfer window is May 1-15, while the one for men’s and women’s basketball opened March 13 and closes on May 11.)
“I think (the players) have come out of (spring break) really well, but we still have some guys who do not understand what we want,” Coach Prime continued. “And we are not going to waver on what we want. We are going to stick to the standard.”
Which sort of lines up with what other birdies have been quietly chirping — namely, that Sanders isn’t exactly in love with the 1-11 roster he inherited from Karl Dorrell and interim Mike Sanford.
Makes sense. CU’s practices for much of the first half of the Buffs’ spring sessions have run long. Saturday’s apparently went over its slated end time by roughly a half-hour.
“We have guys sitting down and that (haven’t) even been in the darn scrimmage,” Sanders said. ‘How are you kneeling down? We aren’t going to kneel.’ Guys won’t run all the way off the field. That is free. Your effort is free. That is what you can give and what you can do. So we blow the whistle and they go back out there.
“We just have to find the kids that know who we are. And we will. Expeditiously.”
Coach Prime’s making the Buffs earn their numbers this month. As of Saturday morning, only three had done so, with two-way phenom Travis Hunter and defensive lineman Shane Cokes (wearing veteran Jalen Sami’s “99,” no less) joining speedster Jimmy Horn, Jr. Read into that what you will.
“By (the spring game at Folsom Field), we’ll know who’s who,” Sanders said. “We already know who’s who.”
For the rest of us, though? Best bring a scorecard.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)