Packing up his life and moving halfway across the country into unfamiliar territory didn’t faze Jimmy Horn Jr.
The food at the Champions Center, however, made an immediate impression.
“The food’s delicious,” Horn said while meeting the media following the Buffs’ second spring practice on Monday. “Like you’re eating at a five-star restaurant every day. I’m eating so much steak I’m tired of eating it.”
Horn won’t go hungry off the field. Chances are in Colorado’s new-look offense, the speedy receiver won’t go hungry on the field, either.
As the Buffs go through their first week of spring practices under new head coach Deion Sanders, Horn is one of 29 scholarship newcomers taking part in the workouts who committed after Coach Prime was hired on Dec. 3. Among the more intriguing new offensive weapons alongside new quarterback Shedeur Sanders and potential two-way star Travis Hunter is Horn, who turned in an impressive two seasons at South Florida.
Spring ball may have begun officially on Sunday, but Horn says the process of forming a rapport with his new quarterback began months ago.
“When I first got here I was kind of chillin’ the first couple days,” Horn said. “And then when Shedeur came back, we just got it in that first day he got here. We’ve just been getting it in ever since.
“It’s been a smooth transition overall, because when I was at USF we kind of went through the same situation. I was still just making a bigger jump and adjusting to it, just the same as the players that’s coming in. Because we’re all coming from somewhere else, adjusting to the same thing. But we’re gonna get it down pat. We’re going to be all right.”
Ranked as a three-star recruit by 247Sports out of high school, the Stanford, Fla., native made an immediate impact at South Florida, recording 30 receptions for 408 yards and one touchdown as a true freshman in 2021. He was even better last fall, making 37 catches for 551 yards and three touchdowns.
Horn, who cited two of the NFL’s all-time best kick returners, coach Sanders and Devin Hester, among the players he has studied the most, also was named a first team All-AAC kick returner last fall in a vote of league coaches. Overall in two seasons, Horn posted 67 receptions for 959 yards (14.3 per catch), adding another 107 yards and a touchdown on the ground on just 14 attempts. Despite the solid numbers, Horn hit the transfer portal after a 1-11 season at USF and the late-season dismissal of head coach Jeff Scott.
It remains to be seen just how the revamped-on-the-fly offense might take off in Boulder, but the goal is to lay the groundwork among the new pieces this spring.
“We’re still adjusting to it,” Horn said. “As the spring goes on, we’re going to have the offense down pat.”
The Buffs were off Tuesday and are scheduled to go through practice No. 3 on Wednesday. The new era of Colorado football has barely begun, yet already some of the key figures on offense are getting on the same page.
“At practice (Sunday), Jimmy Horn…he messed up on a route last week that we worked on with each other. So I told him when you see this coverage, do this,” Shedeur Sanders said. “The coverage presented itself (Sunday) and he did what I told him. It’s just about trial and error right now with the offense.”