Deion Sanders says Colorado football is "reloaded" and "revamped" heading into 2024

Arizona v Colorado
Arizona v Colorado / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

Colorado football coach and former NFL player Deion Sanders made an appearance on the "Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" and discussed his excitement and anticipation for the upcoming season. Sanders also discussed that the 2024 season will be the last season he can coach his sons Shedeur Sanders and Shilo Sanders, as they are set to declare for the 2025 NFL draft.

Sanders and his sons arrived in Boulder, Colo., in 2023 after spending two seasons (2021-22) at Jackson State, which is an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). After the success the Sanders family had at Jackson State (two SWAC championships), the college football community and the media had high intrigue as to see how Sanders could fare facing tougher competition and turning around a program that had only one win a year prior.

The Buffaloes won their first three games which included a win over then-No. 17 ranked TCU in the season opener. Colorado went 1-8 the rest of the way after starting the season 3-0.

The Buffaloes' main contributions to their underwhelming season were the abysmal offensive line play and defense. In 2023, the Buffaloes offense averaged 2.3 yards per rush and 68.9 rushing yards per game. Sanders was sacked a nation-leading 52 times, which is a testament to how inept the offensive line was. Defensively in 2023, the Buffaloes gave up 34.8 points per game along with 4.7 yards per rush and and 7.9 yards per pass, respectively

Sanders and two-way star (cornerback and receiver) Travis Hunter were the standout players for the Buffaloes in 2023. Sanders tossed for 3,230 yards (most in a single season by a quarterback in program history) along with 27 touchdowns to only three interceptions. Hunter earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors for having tallied 30 tackles and three interceptions defensively and 721 receiving yards in 2023. Hunter missed three games after having suffered an injury against Colorado State early on in the season.

"We're reloaded, we're revamped, we got some stuff that I can work with now. I cannot wait for this season," Sanders said.

As far as being reloaded, the Buffaloes added solid pieces to the roster on both sides of the ball. The Buffaloes' defense added defensive lineman BJ Green from Arizona State, defensive lineman Chidozie Nwankwo from Houston, Edge rusher Samuel Okunlola from Pitt, and linebacker Keaton Wade (three quarterback hurries, and 35 tackles in 2023) from Kentucky via the transfer portal.

Green stands at 6-foot-1, 270 pounds, and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2023 (11.5 sacks). Nwankwo tallied five tackles for loss and a sack in 2023. Okunlola recorded six tackles for loss, five sacks, and 18 total tackles last season.

Offensively, the Buffaloes acquired former UTEP lineman Justin Mayers after having allowed only two sacks in two seasons with the Miners. Colorado also picked up wideouts Will Sheppard from Vanderbilt (led Vanderbilt in catches, yards, and touchdowns last season) and LaJohntay Wester (2023 AAC Special Teams Player of the Year) from Florida Atlantic.

As the Buffaloes head to the Big 12 in 2024, it will be the last time the Sanders family will be on the same team. Shedeur is projected to be a first-round pick in the 2025 NFL Draft. Shilo will be approaching his sixth season of college football and tallied four forced fumbles in the Pac-12 that led the conference and ranked second in the nation.