Op-Ed: Deion Sanders rewarded his “Rudy,” but he deserves more

After another roster flip, Charlie Offerdahl has proven his worth for the Buffaloes
Colorado running back Charlie Offerdahl (44) carries the ball against  Oregon State during the first
Colorado running back Charlie Offerdahl (44) carries the ball against Oregon State during the first / BRIAN HAYES / STATESMAN JOURNAL / USA

Everyone loves an underdog story. It’s almost synonymous with any type of sporting event. There is always a David vs. Goliath situation and typically, if a fan does not have a dog in the fight, that fan will typically default to the underdog. It’s unconditionally a nice story.

For Colorado, the best story of someone overcoming significant obstacles to achieve victory is the one of Charlie Offerdahl. He was not only a carryover from the previous regime, but was exactly what Deion Sanders wanted when he gave his now famous “Louis Luggage” speech. Offerdahl saw an opportunity to compete with whoever Prime and his staff brought in, and this week, he’s cashing in on the bet he placed on himself.

With a total of 17 Buffs players deciding to hit the portal, including former AAC Freshman of the Year and Houston transfer Alton McCaskill, Offerdahl moved his way up in the rotation in the backfield. Coach Prime can be heard saying something that should please every CU fan and fans of the underdog.

“Where’s my Charlie at? (Coach) Flea?! Charlie is second team and don’t move him until I say so!”
Even in the moment when Sanders made this declaration, there was almost a unanimous reaction from Offerdahl’s teammates. If you ever wonder if a promotion on a football team is deserved, watch the teammates react to it. Offerdahl is Coach Prime’s “Rudy”. While players laying their jersey’s on Prime’s desk is not necessary, there is something Prime can give him that most everyone involved would believe he has earned. A moment to receive a scholarship.

One of Offerdahl’s former Colorado teammates even blasted out that he should be removed from his walk-on status.

Offerdahl survived the roster purge and accepted that he would have to earn it his way in Prime’s good graces. As he often preaches, Offerdahal provides consistency, effort, and accountability. In a word, He’s everything Coach Prime wants in a player. The efforts in practice and throughout last season only confirm that Offerdahl is smart, fast, tough, disciplined, with character. Everything that fits the CU “standard”.

Deion Sanders says "We good" after mass transfer exodus at Colorado

It should be mentioned that Coach Prime and the CU football program have been known to adjust the depth chart regularly to keep players hungry. That is also not something that is specific to the program. It’s a widely used practice among Football coaching circles. However, if this is not just a momentary status for Offerdahl, then another question must be asked.

Last season, Offerdahl had a 5.5 yards per carry average on very few carries. If he stays at second string or even is a productive third option, once the regular season starts there is a status he does not currently have that would seem wildly out of place not to be on scholarship. After a full season of practices and games under Coach Prime. After the start of spring camp. And after making it to backup on the depth chart… why not?

Every coach has their motivational “Let’s trick the player” moment to give him a scholarship… This could be Prime’s best one yet.

In a program where Offerdahl has checked all the boxes and set the standard, how does that not happen? There are a number of answers that could stem from a limit on scholarships to players yet to be signed. It could be any number of factors that play into the decision. However, being a good soldier and maintaining what it means to be a Buff, that should merit being celebrated.

With that said, If Offerdahl goes out and is productive on any level, earning that scholarship should be less of an “if” and more of a “when” situation.

Jason Jones