After bringing tiny Jackson State into the national college football spotlight, Coach Prime is suddenly in the running for a primetime Power Five gig.
Deion Sanders, the 55-year-old Hall of Famer who spent five key seasons as a member of the Dallas Cowboys during the tail end of their dynasty years and helped secure the club’s fifth and most recent Lombardi Trophy, has reportedly been offered the head coaching job at the University of Colorado and has “legitimate interest” in the job.
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Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports first broke the story on Saturday.
Sanders took over the 4-8 football program at Jackson State, an HBCU that plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, in September 2020. After going 4-3 in an abbreviated COVID season, Sanders led the Tigers to an 11-2 record and a conference title in 2021, winning the Eddie Robinson Award as the top FCS coach along the way.
Last December, Jackson State secured the number one high school recruit in the country, improbably stealing the commitment of defensive back Travis Hunter Jr. away from Sanders’s own alma mater of Florida State and other powerhouse programs.
Jackson State finished the 2022 regular season with an 11-0 mark, the first undefeated season in school history. The conference championship is still to be played.
Earlier in the fall, Sanders was mentioned by many observers as a possible candidate to take over at either Georgia Tech or Arizona State after those schools relieved head coaches of their duties midseason.
Sanders’s son Shedeur is the quarterback at Jackson State; it’s been speculated that if Deion were to take a coaching job elsewhere, Shedeur- a sophomore- could follow.
Colorado went 1-10 in the 2022 season to finish at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings. The school fired Karl Dorrell as head coach in early October after an 0-5 start; offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. has been serving as interim coach since then.
The Buffaloes have finished below .500 in 16 of the last 17 seasons.
Feldman reported Saturday: “I’m told if [Sanders] can go there- and there are people at CU who are optimistic- he would make this program nationally relevant for the first time in a long, long time.”
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