In less than two months on the job as Colorado’s head coach, Deion Sanders has made a lot of noise nationally with the talent he’s been able to draw to Boulder.
The first-year leader of the Buffaloes isn’t surprised by what he and his staff have done, however.
“How would we be surprised about success? That means we really didn’t expect success if we’re surprised about success. But we expect success,” Sanders said during his signing day press conference on Wednesday.
CU’s 2023 class includes 17 high school recruits, 23 four-year transfers and two junior college transfers. Most of that class was signed in December, or includes transfers that committed and enrolled last month.
As of Wednesday evening, however, the Buffs’ overall class ranked 21st nationally and the transfer class ranks fifth. This is CU’s highest-rated recruiting class since 2008.
“We expect to go get that (talented) kid,” Sanders said. “The only thing that could keep that kid from coming and signing with us is a bag – someone paying him. The collectives or whatever, and out-kicking the coverage. That’s it. Because the coaching staff, the atmosphere, the city, the publicity, the structure, the discipline, the academics, the graduation rate, the food in the cafeteria, I can keep going. Because this thing is getting good. It’s hard to say no, it really is.”
On Wednesday, former Alabama linebacker Demouy Kennedy became the latest player to commit to the Buffs. He is not included in the above numbers because he has yet to sign a financial aid agreement, but he adds to the growing list of talent brought in by Sanders.
During his three seasons with Alabama, Kennedy played mostly on special teams. He played five games this past season before suffering a season-ending injury. In addition to standing out on special teams, Kennedy recorded eight tackles as a reserve linebacker. And, in 2021, he played a bit at running back, carrying the ball seven times for 16 yards.
At CU, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Kennedy will be reunited with new Buffs defensive coordinator Charles Kelly, who was the associate defensive coordinator and safeties coach for the Crimson Tide the past four seasons.
A four-star recruit in 2020 out of Theodore (Ala.) High School, he had 17 offers and chose Alabama over Auburn and LSU, among others.
The only new recruit CU announced Wednesday was five-star cornerback Cormani McClain, from Lakeland (Fla.) High School.
Also Wednesday, CU officially announced the additions of four other transfers: offensive lineman Yousef Mugharbil (Florida), defensive tackle Leonard Payne (Fresno State), safety Myles Slusher (Arkansas) and running back Kavosiey Smoke (Kentucky).
All four committed to the Buffs last month and all but Smoke are already enrolled and taking classes at CU.
Sanders gave a lot of credit to his staff for CU’s class coming together.
“Everyone is playing their role and they’re doing a phenomenal job and I love it,” he said. “I absolutely love it. I wish you could see us recruit. We have a commitment to excellence and it’s working and we’re winning. We’re ecstatic about the potential and we’re just getting started.”
Sanders added that CU’s class is not done coming together. The NCAA transfer portal opens again in May and there will be more activity then.
“We’re not done. This is just a pause,” he said. “But I love where we are.”