College Football
Deion Sanders reportedly has not made any in-home recruiting visits as Colorado coach
College Football

Deion Sanders reportedly has not made any in-home recruiting visits as Colorado coach

Published Mar. 14, 2024 10:08 p.m. ET

Deion Sanders has always done things differently, whether during his superstar playing days as "Prime Time" or his current status as Colorado's "Coach Prime."

But a new report from USA Today reveals just how differently Sanders has approached the recruiting trail since arriving in Colorado in Dec. 2022. More specifically, he has not exactly hit that trail. 

According to USA Today's review of public travel records and subsequent confirmation with the University of Colorado, Sanders has not made any off-campus recruiting visits since taking over as Buffaloes head coach in Dec. 2022.

Like many other aspects of Sanders' tenure with the Buffaloes, that is extremely unique and nearly unheard of among major college football head coaches. By comparison, USA Today reported that according to public records, ex-Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh made 145 off-campus visits with recruits and/or their families from Dec. 2022 through when he left the defending national champion Wolverines for the NFL's Los Angeles Chargers in January. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian has made 128 visits over that same timeframe. 


Like Harbaugh, Sarkisian and coaches at top college football programs across the country, Sanders has a large contractually allocated travel budget for him to use a private jet service for those recruiting visits. However, USA Today confirmed with Colorado that he has not used it since his arrival in Boulder.

However, it also fits with Sanders' overall recruiting strategy since arriving in Colorado. More than virtually any of his peers in FBS college football, Sanders has relied heavily on the transfer portal to fill out the Buffaloes' roster. He infamously turned over nearly the entire roster between his Dec. 2022 arrival and the first game he coached at Colorado on Sept. 2. 

Though in-home visits with transfer recruits are not unheard of, many schools opt to conduct virtual meetings or host those recruits since they are older and those recruiting processes are usually completed over a matter of days or weeks, as opposed to high school, where coaches often recruit prospects over the span of months to years.

Plus, it is not as though no high school football player in the country has been visited by a Colorado coach. Sanders' assistant coaches have made over 90 in-person visits to recruits and families since he took over, per USA Today, though assistant coaches making such visits is also common practice across major college football programs. 

Deion Sanders’ impact on the University of Colorado’s admissions | No. 1 CFB Show

That said, there is also a likelihood that Sanders' assistants will start taking after him more, as Sanders has already turned over several members of his staff during his time at Colorado with a stated goal to bring in coaches with backgrounds more rooted in the NFL than in college. That group includes new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and defensive coordinator Robert Livingston, whose experience is primarily in the professional ranks — where, of course, recruiting is not a factor.

If anything, Sanders' seeming aversion to in-home recruiting visits makes his track record with high school recruits even more impressive. "Coach Prime" has landed a highly-regarded consensus five-star prospect in each of the past two cycles — cornerback Cormani McClain in 2023 and offensive lineman Jordan Seaton in 2024. That does not include two-way star Travis Hunter, widely considered the top overall prospect in the class of 2022, who was a last-minute flip to Sanders at Jackson State — becoming the highest-rated football recruit to join a historically Black university in the modern era — and then followed Sanders to Colorado via the transfer portal.

2024 No. 1 OT Jordan Seaton commits to Colorado live on Undisputed

In-home visits are also a staple of the pre-name-image-likeness era of recruiting. Now, recruits flipping at the last minute to schools with deep-pocketed NIL collectives despite seemingly little prior relationship to those schools is commonplace. (Sanders, however, has joined a chorus of college football coaches deriding NIL as a primary motivator in recruiting.) 

Sanders could also have other reasons for his approach, from his health issues in recent years to his trademark phrase "I Ain't Hard 2 Find," which, of course, implies recruits are the ones doing the finding. So far, it seems to have worked out for him.

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