Coach Prime’s impact significant before he even hits the field
When this private plane arrived in the late hours of Dec. 3, 2022, it carried a person who would instantly change the perception of the CU football program.
Deion Sanders’ arrival ignited the hopes and dreams of Buffs nation.
“It’s needed man, CU has been in the dumpster for a while,” Israel Becerra said on Dec. 3. “I remember in the 90s when there were good, we need that back.”
“I don’t know what winning is like, we don’t know what winning is like but we’re gonna find out soon and we’re excited,” said CU student Mason Welborn.
The excitement didn’t wane the next day when Coach Prime’s hiring was made official.
“It’s Prime Time”, exclaimed Athletic Director Rick George.
“All you want is an opportunity to win, to compete, to dominate and be amongst the best,” said Sanders at his opening press conference. “And darn it, I’m gonna give you that.”
“I can’t describe to you how my feelings were,” said redshirt freshman Travis Gray. “Being with one of the greatest of all time to do it is amazing.”
While current Buff players like Travis were excited about being coached by the NFL Hall of Famer, their exuberance was quickly met with a stern reality check.
“When I get here, there’s gonna be change,” Sanders told the team at his first meeting with them. “So I want y’all to get ready, go ahead and jump in that portal because the more of you that leave, the more room you make. We’ve got a few positions already taken care of cuz I’m bringing my luggage with me and it’s Louis. I’m comin’.”
What went thru my mind was that I have to work harder, I have to be the best of the best,” Gray said.
“It sounds like he laid a challenge at your feet, is that fair,” I asked Gray. “He handed out the challenge, and I said I’m going to take it.”
The excitement around Coach Prime and the Buffs is at an all-time high. Prime apparel is everywhere. In December, sales skyrocketed up 505% from a year ago. The team store is also currently ranked 2nd nationally on the fanatics platform ahead of traditional powers like Alabama and Notre Dame.
The season ticket renewal rate is at 97% which is easily an all-time high.
The football program’s Instagram account was at 58,000 followers before Sanders was hired and now sits at 586,000. Coach Prime wants a million before the Spring Game.
And speaking of the Spring Game, the school has sold over 33,000 tickets which nearly doubles the school’s preview attendance record.
Recruiting is on the rise as well. Sanders’ first-class features the top-ranked class in the transfer portal and includes an all-time best 9 players who are rated as either 4 or 5 stars.
“We’re recruiting our butts off, we’re not recruiting just an ordinary Tom, Dick or Harry,” said Sanders. “We’re recruiting some guys who can light up the scoreboard and prevent points from being scored. We’re coming and we’re serious about that.”
Now with spring football closing in, Sanders’ challenge is building a team… a squad that’s as serious about winning as he is.
“We’re winners. Y’all gotta start thinking that,” Sanders told the team recently. “About a quarter of you believe that, you gotta start thinking that. We’re winners