Shedeur Sanders shines, new transfers step up in Colorado's spring game on rainy and cool day

Sat, Apr 27, 2024

Shedeur Sanders shines, new transfers step up in Colorado's spring game on rainy and cool day

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - The rain and the cold couldn't dampen the demeanor of Deion Sanders.

The cowboy hat-wearing coach of the Colorado Buffaloes was in a feel-good mood during the spring game Saturday at Folsom Field.

Before the game, he awarded a scholarship to a hard-working running back. Before kickoff, he pledged a bowl game to a 99-year-old super-fan in the stands. And before retreating out of the rain, he watched some new transfer-portal additions step up and saw a receiver-turned-cornerback-turned-tailback shine.

On top of it all, his QB son, Shedeur, looked sharp in front of a respectable crowd given the weather.

"We already know what we had," Deion Sanders said. "But it was a good display of talent, I believe."

Running back Charlie Offerdahl had a day he won't soon forget, even if he didn't play a snap due to an intestinal ailment. In the locker room before the game, Sanders gathered the team together, along with Offerdahl's family, and presented the junior with a scholarship.

The team erupted in applause.

"Unbelievable," Offerdahl said of the moment. "It's a blessing."

It set the tone for the day.

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Just before the game started, Sanders grabbed a microphone and gave a shout-out to Peggy Coppom, the longtime supporter of the Buffaloes who last spring kicked off - with Sanders' assistance - to begin the game. This time, Coppom, who turns 100 in November, was in the stands and Sanders looked her direction to say: "We're going to get you to a bowl game, baby."

Sanders is trying to lead the Buffaloes to their first winning record in a full season since 2016 (they were 4-2 in 2020).

His roster, though, has a lot in common with the new scoreboard in the south end of the stadium - under construction.

Colorado picked up 31 players through the transfer portal, according to 247Sports. The team also saw 36 players leave the program.

"I feel like we got all the negative energy out the building," Shedeur Sanders said. "So now it's just a positive vibe."

The running back room was hit hard by the decision of Dylan Edwards, the projected starter, who entered the transfer portal. It led the Buffaloes to switch Isaiah Hardge to running back for the spring game.

Hardge scored on a 40-yard TD run.

"He got in there and did his thing," Shedeur Sanders said.

Sanders is coming off a campaign in which he threw for 3,230 yards, the most in a season in program history. He also was sacked 52 times and missed the final game due to a fracture in his back.

It led his father to retool the offensive line to provide him better protection. The line now features freshman left tackle Jordan Seaton, who allowed an early sack, but then was rock solid.

"Overall, it was a good performance," Shedeur Sanders said.

The Buffaloes already have several commits for 2025 and possibly gained a couple more this weekend. Deion Sanders said his plan isn't to join his sons, Shilo and Shedeur, at the next level after this season.

"I don't follow my kids. I pave roads for my kids," Sanders said. "I build generational wealth for my kids. I lead my kids. I don't follow my kids. So I do not plan on following my kids to the NFL."

Last season, Colorado set its spring game attendance record with an announced 47,277 fans.

On Saturday, the announced attendance was 28,424 but the turnout appeared smaller given the weather conditions. This game was part of a big day in Boulder, with rapper Lil Wayne staging a concert later in the evening at CU Events Center.

Sanders was all over the field, checking in on every aspect of his team. In pregame warmups, he took some snaps as the holder on field-goal attempts.

His offense was clicking despite slick conditions, with two-way standout Travis Hunter catching several passes. LaJohntay Wester, an arrival from Florida Atlantic, has quickly found chemistry with Shedeur Sanders, too, as the tandem connected on a 19-yard TD catch.

"We have a plethora of receivers and four more on their way that I can't wait to see them work together this summer," Deion Sanders said. "I can't wait until they're under the same roof. ... Shedeur is going to be the happiest young man in the building."


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