Since hiring Deion Sanders, 13 Colorado recruits have already lost their scholarships


Colorado coach Deion Sanders made quite a stir when he told his players, within minutes of meeting them for the first time, that their assistance was no longer required, encouraging them to enter the transfer portal to make room for his incoming recruits. Turns out, he wasn’t joking. As reported by Grace Raynor and Manny Navarro of The Athletic, at least 13 players in Colorado’s class of 2023 have had their scholarships revoked including defensive end Carson Mott, who received the news by phone earlier this month.

“It was a huge mess,” said Mott, who is ranked 974th nationally and 92nd at his position, according to 247 Sports. “I actually never got contacted by Deion or any of his new staff. I got called. They told me that coach Deion didn’t want to honor my commitment and hung up the phone.”

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Mott should land on his feet—he’s considering offers from Weber State, New Mexico State, Washington, Idaho, Hawaii, San Diego State, Montana and Washington State with visits scheduled at the latter three. Still, the three-star prospect from Simi Valley wishes he had known sooner, lamenting what has been a stressful process, scrambling to find a home days before the start of the early signing period. “I mean, you saw the interview,” said Mott, alluding to Sanders’ earlier remarks, warning players that he was bringing his own “luggage.” “I had a feeling that my commitment wasn’t going to be honored.”

Travis Hunter made history last year by committing to Jackson State, becoming the highest-rated prospect to sign with an HBCU (historically black college or university). Predictably, the five-star cornerback plans to transfer, presumably following Sanders to Colorado. That’s par for the course in today’s college football landscape, where relaxed transfer rules and an influx of NIL money have led to unprecedented roster turnover. Offensive lineman Tyrone McDuffie had a similar experience to Mott, feeling he was misled by the school’s athletic director, Rick George.

“[George] called me and my dad and he wanted the 2023 class to stay together. He said I was going to have a chance to be a Colorado Buffalo regardless of who he hired,” said McDuffie, who honored his commitment, even after the coach that recruited him, Karl Donnell, was let go. “Nobody from the new coaching staff called me. You could say there was a little bit of anger, frustration. This was our future they were messing with.”

Colorado knew when they hired Sanders that sweeping change was inevitable, allowing him to shape the program in his own image. And while Sanders can’t be faulted for using the resources at his disposal, it’s hard not to feel for the players being left behind, their lives turned upside down for the sake of a coach who, given his track record, will probably bolt for a bigger, more prestigious Power Five opportunity in the coming years.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images