It’s not easy going from the FCS to the FBS level and a couple of key members of the Colorado football team will find that out in 2023.
Deion Sanders is one as he coached at the FCS level and had plenty of success, but that’s not going to happen right away in Boulder. And his son, Shedeur Sanders, will also find out as he decided to follow his dad to Colorado to play quarterback for the Buffaloes.
While Deion will likely hold an “open” quarterback competition, there’s next to no chance he doesn’t come in and start right away. He’s the best option Colorado has.
But there’s a serious question that needs to be asked about Sanders as the next Colorado quarterback: what are the realistic expectations surrounding Shedeur?
What can Colorado football expect from Shedeur Sanders?
It’s hard to find examples of quarterbacks who came from the FCS and had a ton of success at the FBS level, but there’s a recent example that might just make Colorado fans happy.
Incarnate Word quarterback Cameron Ward transferred to Washington State last season and he had a ton of success with the Cougars, passing for 3,231 yards and 23 touchdowns with nine picks while completing 64 percent of his passes. That was after he passed for 6,908 yards and 71 touchdowns with 14 interceptions in two years at Incarnate Word.
Sanders passed for 6,963 yards and 70 touchdowns with 14 interceptions and his completion percentage was actually higher than Ward’s at the FCS level and he’s also more of a running threat. Basically, Sanders is every bit as solid of an FCS quarterback as Ward was outside of one monster season in which the latter passed for almost 4,700 yards and 47 touchdowns.
Still, Sanders is playing in the same conference as Ward now and the two had similar success at the FCS level and the former was a highly-touted four-star recruit out of high school.
Realistic expectations would be somewhere around 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns while rushing for somewhere between 100-200 yards and 4-5 touchdowns.
Not too shabby for a program that was in shambles last year, but I think Sanders is going to be a godsend for the Buffaloes’ offense.