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Examining Deion Sanders' 2023 Recruiting Class in 1st Year as Colorado HC

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 1, 2023

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 17:  Head coach Deion Sanders of the Jackson State Tigers walks the field during pregame warmups prior to the Cricket Celebration Bowl against the North Carolina Central Eagles at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Deion Sanders transformed Jackson State in his three years at the program, going 27-6 overall and winning a pair of SWAC titles.

That led him to Colorado, where he will try to turn a Buffaloes program that has had only one winning season since 2006 into a perennial Pac-12 powerhouse.

To do so, he'll need to nail the recruiting game. And thus far, his 2023 class is on the right track, currently ranking 21st in 247Sports.com's composite rankings.

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The crown jewel of his incoming class is cornerback Cormani McClain, the No. 13 player overall and the top player at his position. Sanders has landed the top cornerback in the nation two years in a row after getting Travis Hunter to join him at Jackson State last season (and since convincing him to transfer to Colorado).

Colorado is getting a major boost in the secondary with Hunter and McClain. But the Buffaloes are also getting a bunch of skill-position talent, including 4-star running back Dylan Edwards and 4-star wideouts Adam Hopkins and Omarion Miller.

After that trio, Colorado will have 24 incoming 3-star freshmen.

Colorado's transfer class also ranks No. 5 in the nation, led by Hunter's defection from Jackson State. The Buffaloes are also getting Sanders' son, 4-star quarterback Shedeur Sanders, and four other 4-star transfers: linebacker Demouy Kennedy, interior offensive lineman Yousef Mugharbil, tight end Seydou Traore and wideout Jimmy Horn Jr.

That instant infusion of talent should help the Buffaloes get up and running quickly under Sanders, who has wasted little time blessing Colorado with the same recruiting touch that transformed Jackson State in three short years.

Competing at the Pac-12 level is another challenge entirely. But Sanders has made a strong first impression on the recruiting trail.