Colorado loses 3 recruits in matter of days, has zero commits in Class of 2025

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The rough ending to Deion Sanders’ first season at Colorado has carried over into recruiting.

In the days following Colorado’s season-ending loss to Utah, Coach Prime and the Buffaloes have lost the commitments of three players. Class of 2024 three-star quarterback Danny O’Neil and Class of 2025 three-star running back Jamarice Walker announced their decommitments on Monday, a day after Class of 2025 quarterback four-star recruit Antwann Hill decommitted.

Those three prospects weren’t the only ones to announce their decommitments from Colorado, either. Class of 2024 three-star offensive lineman Talan Chandler flipped his commitment from Colorado to Missouri and 2025 four-star receiver Winston Watkins Jr. decommitted from Colorado earlier in November.

Deion Sanders says Colorado is ‘not an ATM’ for college football transfers

Deion Sanders says Colorado is 'not an ATM' for college football transfers

With all of the recent decommitments, Colorado’s 2024 recruiting class has dropped to No. 65 on 247 Sports’ recruiting rankings as it only has nine commits from incoming freshmen. The nine total commitments are the third-fewest among all Power 5 schools and the second-fewest among schools that’ll be in the Big 12 next season, only trailing Houston, which recently fired coach Dana Holgerson.

Colorado does have four four-star commitments in the Class of 2024, via 247 Sports, which is tied for the third-most among 2024 Big 12 schools.

However, the loss of commitments comes at a relatively inopportune time. The early signing period is less than a month away (Dec. 20-22), and Colorado currently has no commitments from the Class of 2025 to fall back on. 

Colorado can still add talent through the transfer portal, which it did last season. It brought in a whopping 51 players through the portal as Sanders took Jackson State stars Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter with him, giving the Buffaloes the No. 1 transfer portal ranking in 2023 on 247 Sports. But that didn’t bring them much success in 2023, going 4-8 after their 3-0 start.

Following the recruiting chaos in recent days, Colorado director of player personnel Corey Phillips cautioned fans not to panic. 

“Relax it’s part of the plan……….@CUBuffsFootball,” Phillips wrote in a social media post late Monday. “#WeWorking #StayFaithfulToTheProcess #WeBelieve #ItWillAllMakeSense.”

Phillips’ confidence struck a similar tone to what Sanders said following Colorado’s season-ending loss to Utah, with Sanders saying “I love everything that transpired” in his first season in Boulder and confidently stating “I promise you, I know how this is gonna end.”

But Sanders also asked for some help. 

“We’re getting there,” Sanders said. “We definitely need giving. You know what I mean. It’s unfortunate to say this, but some kids cost … I have not charted this yet, but I’ve asked for the numbers. But if you start thinking about the top several teams in the country, I see what was spent on assembling their teams. 

“You know, we can sit here and talk about great coaching and great this and great that all we want, but it’s gonna be a credit card swipe in some kind of way with all these guys going to these places. And I understand that.”

Sanders’ comment following Saturday’s game was a change in tune from what he said earlier that week. He told reporters that Colorado is “not an ATM” and that it wouldn’t “buy” recruits or transfers.

As Christian Fauria’s son, Caleb, became the first Colorado player to announce his intention to enter the transfer portal on Monday, the former NFL tight end took aim at Sanders’ change of view.

“I thought there wasn’t an ATM?” Fauria wrote in a social media post in response to Sanders’ “We definitely need giving” comment.

With Colorado looking ahead to 2024, Sanders said Saturday that there will be a “few” changes to his coaching staff, already committing to Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp to join him in Boulder.

“You gonna be pleased with what’s coming; I promise you that,” Sanders continued on Saturday. “But everything that you see that we have a lack thereof, a deficit, we’re gonna fill that need.”

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