Officially hired and introduced as the head coach of the Colorado football team, Deion Sanders has a lot of work in front of him this month with the Buffaloes.
He is going to finish what he started at Jackson State, though.
Sanders was introduced Sunday as the 28th full-time head coach in CU history, but said he will coach one more game with Jackson State, the program he has led since September of 2020.
JSU (12-0) won its second consecutive SWAC title on Saturday night, earning a spot on the Celebration Bowl on Dec. 17 against North Carolina Central (9-2) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
“As you know, I have work to finish in Jackson, Miss.,” Sanders said. “They tell me we’re ‘and-0.’ That means we haven’t lost anything. We’re and-0, and we’ve got to win a championship.”
Pulling double-duty over the next couple of weeks could be difficult for some, but not for coach Prime. He played in the NFL and Major League Baseball at the same time. In fact, on Oct. 11, 1992, he played with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons in Miami before flying to Pittsburgh to play with baseball’s Atlanta Braves in the playoffs. He’s the only athlete to play in two professional leagues in the same day.
“Like I played baseball and football, I can multitask and I can focus,” he said of how he’ll get through the next two weeks. “This is my job, my occupation and my business and my dream to bring you back to where you know you should belong.”
Among those with Sanders on Sunday was his son, Shedeur, who is Jackson State’s sophomore quarterback.
While going through some “thank yous” early in his press conference, Sanders said, “Where’s Shedeur?”
“This is your quarterback,” Sanders said, before adding, “He’s gonna have to earn it.”
From the time Sanders was first rumored to be CU’s target, there has been speculation about whether Shedeur would follow him to Boulder, and it appears he will.
This season, Shedeur has completed 314-of-448 passes (70.1%) for 3,403 yards, 36 touchdowns and six interceptions, while rushing for 175 yards and five scores.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Shedeur is a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, presented annually to the top player in the FCS. He was second-team All-SWAC in 2021, earning SWAC freshman of the year honors.
Sanders figures to make a big difference for CU in recruiting and that’s already paying off.
On Sunday, Winston Watkins Jr., a five-star receiver in the 2025 class, gave his verbal commitment to CU to play for Sanders.
Watkins, who is 5-10, 172 pounds, plays at IMG Academy in Florida. He is rated by 247Sports as the No. 4 receiver and No. 13 overall prospect in the 2025 class.
From fans greeting him at the airport and Folsom Field in the middle of the night late Saturday/early Sunday to the raucous reception he got at his press conference and the sunny weather on Sunday, Sanders was in awe of Boulder.
“It is beautiful outside,” he said of what has surprised him about Colorado so far. “And, just things that blesses my heart like when we landed last night after I spoke to our team (at JSU) and just hearing fans at the airport and those fans I think they journeyed over here.”
He then joked that athletic director Rick George’s wife has already been talking to his partner, Tracey Edmonds, about shopping.
“We’ve got to stop that right now,” he said. “This place ain’t cheap. I do know that.”
That was Sanders’ only criticism of Boulder, however.
“Colorado, you showed up and you showed out,” he said. “This is unbelievable.
“You need to give your-darn-selves a hand because this is beautiful. This is beautiful. We need to stay together, we need to stay united. We need to continuously believe. It may not happen as quickly as you may desire it to, but it’s gonna happen. We’re gonna win.”
Colorado has a sponsorship deal with Nike, but Sanders has a deal with Under Armour. “That won’t make a difference,” George said. … George has now hired three football coaches at CU. Asked how confident he is that he won’t make another, he laughed and said, “I won’t be here that long. From the standpoint, I’m gonna be here as long as coach Prime’s here and he’s got a five-year deal. I’ll be here for that long at least. But beyond that, I’m not going to hire another coach and I don’t think we’ll have to with his leadership.”