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Shilo Sanders says Colorado has “removed a lot of poison from the 2023 CFB team”
Shilo Sanders says Colorado has “removed a lot of poison from the 2023 CFB team”

Colorado safety Shilo Sanders believes another offseason roster shakeup has produced the kind of unity the Buffaloes need to improve on their 4-8 record in 2023.

“As a team, you have to stick together and not have hatred toward each other,” Shilo told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg. “You can’t have any poison. Last year, we got rid of a lot of poison. And this year, we’re in better shape, working together as a team and expecting to win.”

When asked to explain his comments, Sanders quoted players as saying “talking shit about Colorado, coaches and stuff like that.”

This is not the first time a member of the Sanders family has essentially said that Colorado benefited from addition by subtraction.

Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders said Xavier Smith, who transferred to Austin Peay ahead of the 2023 season, “has to be mediocre at best” after Smith openly expressed his opinions about head coach Deion Sanders in an interview with The Athletic’s Max Olson.

Shedeur points out that it is not the case that many of the players who left the country during the 2023 mass exodus had success elsewhere.

But his dismissive attitude toward Smith underscores the fact that even the best teams don’t have five-star NFL-bound players at every roster spot. Colorado’s lack of depth became an increasingly obvious problem over the past year, and some of the players Deion Sanders unceremoniously traded away could have made positive contributions as replacements.

By focusing so heavily on the transfer portal and neglecting traditional recruiting, it can be difficult to establish a core culture within a program because the roster changes so dramatically from season to season. Coaches also don’t have the same sense of a player’s attitude and demeanor that they might have gained if they had recruited him over several years as a high school student.

“These are a bunch of guys that didn’t get a chance here or got a chance and blew it,” Deion Sanders told Andscape’s Jean-Jacques Taylor last September of his squad after a 3-0 start. “We’ve got a bunch of underdogs here. We’ve got a bunch of guys that have something to prove. Everybody has something to prove. All of these kids have a story.”

Compare that assessment – ​​made when Colorado peaked in 2023 – to what Shilo said Wednesday during Big 12 media day.

In difficult situations, a team’s cohesion and chemistry are always tested. When things were going well for the Buffs, everyone was rowing in the same direction. When things went off the rails, they really started to spin.

All is well in Boulder for now. Let’s see how things go after Colorado begins navigating its potentially difficult conference slate following its return to the Big 12.

By Everly