Deion downplays transfer exodus from Colorado

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In the wake of 14 Colorado players entering the transfer portal this week, Buffaloes coach Deion Sanders downplayed the notion that their departures will have a significant impact on the team.

“We’re good. I trust the recruiting team. I trust our coaches, and please have some faith in me,” Sanders said. “We good. We all right. We all right.”

Sanders said most of the movement in the transfer portal consisted of backups and that he believes it’s rare for starters to enter the portal at this stage.

“I think we got some [starting-caliber players] coming in from visits pretty soon, maybe even this weekend, but we can attract those type of players,” Sanders said. “I don’t think we’re losing those type of players, and if we do, we’re good. We’re good. We’re making a big deal out of nothing.”

Former five-star cornerback Cormani McClain, who had a tumultuous first season at Colorado, and running back Alton McCaskill, who was the AAC Rookie of the Year in 2021, were both officially in the portal as of Thursday afternoon.

“I want the best for [McClain], man. I really do,” Sanders said. “I want that kid to soar. I want him to man up. I want him to be the best possible athlete and human being and person that he could possibly be.

“Sometimes you need to disconnect from something to reconnect to something else to restart you and reenergize you and stabilize you. I don’t dislike any of the kids that may leave, man, because I just want the best of them.”

Sanders pressed the local group of reporters at the news conference to tell him what type of players the Buffs were leaving in the portal, and when told “potential starters,” Sanders responded, “You haven’t been watching practice, huh? Amen.” (Colorado does not allow media members to watch practice.)

At least six other players who entered the transfer portal this week started at least one game for Colorado last season, when the Buffs won their first three games before finishing 4-8 and in last place in the Pac-12 (1-8).

Sanders also defended a social media post earlier this week from his son, Colorado safety Shilo Sanders, who instructed interested transfers to direct message either him or his brother, Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders.

“That’s how stuff happens,” Sanders said. “Players recruit players, man. We do a wonderful job as the staff, but they got to be validated by players because they play with those players that you’re talking about either in high school or at all-star games. They know somebody that knows somebody. That’s how the recruiting thing works, man. For real. It’s players. They know who the dogs are and who the cats are.”

The spring transfer portal window opened Tuesday and will remain open until April 30. Colorado will host its spring game April 27.

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