BOULDER, Colorado — Deion Sanders said Monday that the report that Colorado has offered him his job as a real coach is true and that he has also received interest from other schools.
The Jackson State football coach did not say if he was considering any of the opportunities, including trying to turn around the embattled Buffalo program.
Sanders did not specify on a conference call for the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game participants who he reached out to besides Colorado, saying, “I’m not going to sit here and tell all my business, but they’re not the only ones.”
The university has not commented on any candidates to replace Carl Durrell, who was sacked in October. Interim head coach Mike Sanford finished the season 1-11 for the Buffaloes.
On Saturday, Fox Sports reported without citing sources that Colorado had offered Sanders the job.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has guided Jackson State, a historically black college that plays in the second level of NCAA Division I football, to an 11-0 mark this season. The Southern Tigers host the SWAC Tournament on Saturday.
Known as a “prime time” coach during his playing career, the magnetic Sanders prefers a “prime coach” these days. He said the buffalo training show is not a distraction.
“For someone else who wasn’t this guy, it’s intoxicating,” Sanders said, laughing. “I’ve been ‘boss’ for a long time, Doug.” “Attention is nothing new to me. Like, come on. I’m not bragging—that’s a fancy word, right? I came up with that—but it’s nothing new to me. Being in the spotlight isn’t new to me.”
Whoever took over in Boulder has their work cut out. The Buffs went 1-8 in the Pac-12 and capped their dismal season with a 63-21 Blast loss to No. 12 Utah at Folsom Field on Saturday.
Before the season, Colorado lost several rookies through the transfer portal, an area Sanders could certainly support if he accepted the Buffaloes job.
Jackson State hired Jackson in September 2020 after his sons coached at a high school in Texas, and Sanders described the fit as “a match made in heaven.” He quickly moved the school in the capital of Mississippi to SWAC champion in one calendar year.
The Tigers went on to finish 4-3 in a pandemic-delayed spring season, going 11-2 last fall, a notable jump led by Sanders’ son. Shader Sanders at quarterback. They lost to South Carolina in the Celebration Bowl.
Jackson State’s performance was significant beyond capturing its first conference title since 2007. A program that has produced Hall of Famers like Walter Payton, Liam Barney, Jackie Slater, and Robert Brazill was relevant again among historically black colleges and universities, and Sanders was determined to keep it on. That way.
Sanders also scored in the recruiting track, landing a five-star defense Travis Hunter and a four-star receiver Kevin Coleman Unbeaten team this year. Sanders told the Associated Press on an October podcast that both players chose JSU because he and his staff would prepare them for careers in the NFL.
However, Sanders noted that schools like Jackson State are still at a recruiting disadvantage.
“It’s now an option,” Sanders said of senior recruits choosing HBCUs. “But it’s not really a balanced option because of the facilities, because of the housing. Because of all the aesthetics in the HBCU. We’re underfunded and ignored. So, it’s not the same.”
Sanders’ success in raising the profile of a championship subdivision program — not to mention drawing attention to black college football and the challenges JSU and other programs face in field programs — has fueled speculation about Power 5 schools pursuing him to coach the vacancies.
Even before Sanders took over at Jackson State, he met with officials at Power 5 schools about coaching vacancies and liked his setup.
Sanders was an All-American at Florida State before a stellar NFL career with five teams that included the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. He won a Super Bowl with both the Niners and the Cowboys.
The 55-year-old — or whatever the new coach is — will step into a Colorado program that’s a long way from its glory days under Hall of Fame coach Bill McCartney, who led CU to a national championship after the 1990 season.
The Buffaloes have had one full winning season since joining the Pac-12 in 2011.
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