ESPN host believes Deion Sanders "scared off" players, "who wants to back up the coach’s son?"

One of college football's respected voices asks a tough question about Coach Prime's Buffs
Oct 7, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders against the Arizona
Oct 7, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders against the Arizona / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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It might be the offseason but the Colorado Buffaloes are still a hot topic. Deion Sanders and his staff just ended the spring practice period in Boulder with very little hiccups. Shedeur Sanders got a jump on working out with his new receivers and invited his entire corps down to a retreat at Coach Prime's compound in Dallas.

While Colorado is set at the quarterback position, many are starting to wonder if it's a blessing and curse scenario. The Buffs "Grown" QB made headlines after going after players who left the program and left a bad review after the fact, including former backup Gavin Kuld. Sanders runs the show with very little support behind him. In fact, ESPN's Pete Thamel recently talked about the situation on the College GameDay Podcast.

“It’s hard for Colorado to have a backup quarterback," Thamel said. "Mainly because Deion came in and insulted most of the ones who were in the room and scared them off. Who wants to go in and back up the coach’s son? You're not going to play.”

Colorado had one of the worst offensive lines last year, allowing Sanders to be sacked a record 52 times. It was a major point of emphasis this offseason with a complete overhaul going into this year. Buffs offensive line coach Phil Loadholt has done a tremendous job finding talent and putting them in the correct positions.

While backup QB Ryan Staub looked impressive against Utah in the season finale, he wasn't going against all of the Utes starters and still couldn't pull out a win. Destin Wade and Walter Taylor were pulled in from the transfer portal with very little experience on the book in two of the SEC bottom feeders. The Buffs are banking on Sanders staying healthy this season, which is easier said than done. He missed the final six quarters of the 2023 season with a fractured back.

Colorado opens with FCS powerhouse North Dakota State on Thursday, August 29. One of the first games on ESPN to kickoff the 2024 college football season.

Josh Tolle