Colorado coach Deion Sanders talks about the second year and the future after that
Colorado coach Deion Sanders talks about the second year and the future after that

In an interview with Colorado coach Joel Klatt, an analyst for Fox Sports, he said the Buffaloes have a chance to compete for the Big 12 title.


Colorado football coach Deion Sanders said his team is better on and off the field than last year and that he plans to stay in Colorado long after his sons move on to the NFL, but he will have to be a little more patient in his second year as coach in Boulder.

Sanders made these and other comments in an interview with Fox Sports analyst Joel Klatt, who also offered his own lofty assessment of the Buffaloes in 2024. Klatt, a former Colorado quarterback, said the Buffaloes could be in the running for the new 12-team college football playoff bracket this season if, as he believes, they compete for the Big 12 Conference championship.

“I think we’ve gotten better, man,” Sanders told Klatt in an interview conducted in April but published for the first time Monday. “I think I’m better. I think the whole thing is better and we’re not done yet.”

Sanders’ assessment is based largely on the fact that he rebuilt his offensive line after it allowed the second-most quarterback sacks in the nation (56) last year while bringing back his star quarterback and son, Shedeur. Klatt noted that the Buffs’ schedule could also be viewed as easier as they move from the Pac-12 to the Big 12.

What did Deion Sanders say about his future?

Klatt asked Sanders a question that has become timely as he heads into his sons’ final college season in Boulder — Shedeur and Shilo Sanders, Colorado’s top tackler last year. What is his vision for CU football without them and without standout two-way star Travis Hunter, who is also slated to head to the NFL in 2025?

Sanders reiterated that he would not follow them to the NFL.

“I plan to be here and be dominant because they are establishing something that we will continue to build on for years to come,” Sanders said. “And I’m grateful that they are establishing what they are establishing.”

That’s why Colorado is still hot on the heels of Shedeur’s possible successor at Colorado – five-star high school quarterback Julian “JuJu” Lewis of Georgia. Lewis visited Boulder over the weekend to recruit players and is ranked as the third-best high school quarterback recruit for 2025 by 247Sports. He had previously chosen Southern California but could change his mind. On Sunday, he posted a photo on social media site X showing him in a Colorado uniform while Shedeur hands him the keys.

“Could it be ‘perfect timing’?” asked Lewis.

What did Klatt say about Sanders’ chances in 2024?

Klatt noted that Colorado has reshaped its offensive line to help Shedeur, who he called one of the nation’s best quarterbacks “when protected.” Shedeur finished last year’s season with a broken back as the Buffs slipped from a 3-0 start to a 4-8 finish.

“I firmly believe that you have a chance, especially with your quarterback, to compete for the Big 12 championship,” Klatt told Sanders. “Right now, there are 12 teams in the playoffs. If you’re at the level where you can compete for a conference championship, you’re going to be competing for a playoff spot, at least in my estimation.”

If Colorado can cut the number of quarterback sacks allowed in half, to under 25, that alone would make a difference in the win column, Klatt said.

“If you get under 25, that’s four more wins. Simple,” said Klatt.

None of the offensive linemen who finished last year’s season are on the team this year. Instead, they have been largely replaced by new additions and Jordan Seaton, the top offensive line recruit in the country according to 247 Sports.

How about Coach Prime being patient?

Klatt asked Sanders what he had learned about himself after his first year on the job.

“I need a little more patience in certain areas,” Sanders said.

Coach Prime had attempted to turn Colorado’s football program around overnight, making great strides with a team that had a 1-11 record prior to his arrival in December 2022. But he also watched his team lose six games in a row at the end of the season.

“The best explanation I give to employees is that if you allow it to happen, it’s your fault, and consequently it’s my fault,” Sanders said.

The Buffs open the season at home against North Dakota State on August 29.

Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer @SchrotenboerEmail: [email protected]

By Everly