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#pounditSaturday, July 20, 2024

Deion Sanders defends his unusual recruiting strategy

Deion Sanders in a cowboy hat

Apr 22, 2023; Boulder, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders during the first half of the spring game at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado coach Deion Sanders felt the need to defend one of his more unusual recruiting tactics after discussion of it went viral recently.

Sanders went out of his way to discuss the recent reveal that he has never conducted an off-campus recruiting visit since taking over at Colorado prior to the 2023 season. That is a calculated decision, according to Sanders, and there are several reasons behind it. One is that he wants to save his school money, and he also does not want to show perceived favoritism in visiting certain prep schools without visiting others.

“My approach is totally different than many coaches,” Sanders said, via Zach Barnett of Football Scoop. “I’m a business man as well, so I try to save our university money every darn chance I get. For me to go, let’s say I go to Florida and I’m visiting IMG, you don’t think those coaches are going to be a little upset if I don’t come by the school down the street? You don’t think it’s going to be pandemonium, or I’m gonna get naysayed if I don’t go another 45 minutes? Then if I go to that one, why didn’t I come to that school? Now the coach is mad and he’s not gonna let the kid come because I chose that school over that school.”

Sanders admitted other coaches cannot do what he does, but said he has done a “personal survey” that led him to conclude that a home visit would not matter much to potential targets.

“I really and truly, in all my heart, believe that parents don’t want me at their house,” Sanders continued. “They want to see how I live. How I get down. See what I got going on. What God has done in my life. I know when I was in college I did not want Bobby Bowden in my house because I knew after 7 o’clock, there was going to be rats and roaches on parade.”

Sanders’ explanation will certainly have its skeptics. Certainly, there are some recruits that will be attracted by his star power no matter what. Others may feel differently. Plus, Colorado has allocated Sanders and his staff money for off-campus recruiting, and it is hardly a huge portion of the athletic budget. The biggest reason, and one that Sanders admits to, is that he leans more on the transfer portal than on prep recruiting, and off-campus visits typically are not a significant part of that process.

Still, if Sanders does not get on-field results, methods like this will be questioned more. If he wins, though, people will just keep buying what he is selling.

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