‘Coach Prime’ is taking over the college football world

After being named the head coach of the University of Colorado Boulder in December of last year, hall of fame cornerback Deion Sanders, known as “Coach Prime,” has taken over Division I college football (CFB). 

With record viewership tuning in to watch the former two-sport star lead the Buffalos to a 3-1 start to the CFB season, Coach Prime has taken grasp of the sports world and isn’t letting go anytime soon.

Coach Prime comes to Colorado from Jackson State University (JSU), a decision that was met with controversy after the Buffalos gave Sanders a five year, $29.5 million contract. JSU, a historically black college and university (HBCU), was on the precipice of entering themselves into the conversation of elite football schools at the time of Sanders’ exit.

Despite the controversy of leaving an HBCU for a PAC-12 school, it’s impossible to deny the success Coach Prime has enjoyed so far in his first year with the Buffalos.

Sanders’ impact at JSU included bringing in Travis Hunter, the first ever five-star recruit to commit to an HBCU in the form of star cornerback and wide receiver. When Sanders ditched JSU for Colorado, however, it also spelled the end for Hunter, among others, at the school. Hunter, along with many of the coaches on Coach Prime’s staff and other players transferred to Colorado in December too, leaving JSU’s program with little to nothing.

Despite the controversy of leaving an HBCU for a PAC-12 school, it’s impossible to deny the success Coach Prime has enjoyed so far in his first year with the Buffalos. Colorado’s program won one game last season, and have only played in two bowl games since 2007, something that is sure to change under Coach Prime.

Leading the way on the field for the Buffalos have been a combination of Hunter, who was recently ruled out for multiple weeks due to a lacerated liver, and Coach Prime’s son Shedeur Sanders, who has played his way into Heisman conversation with 1,400 yards, 11 touchdowns and only one interception through four games. 

Off the field, Coach Prime’s impact has been felt throughout the CFB world. Attendees for the Buffalo’s first home game of 2023 included NBA stars Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry and Chauncey Billups, rappers Lil Wayne, Key Glock and Offset, and actor Dwayne Johnson. Viewership for Coach Prime’s squad has also reached unprecedented heights, with Colorado’s recent game against Colorado State University reaching 9.3 million viewers, the fifth most watched game on record.

In addition to the increase in viewership numbers, Coach Prime is also bringing in a new audience to the CFB world, with 25% of viewers of that game being Black, 31% of viewers being female and only 14% of viewers being from the Pacific Time Zone, per ESPN. 

The Buffalos’ first loss of the season came Saturday afternoon against the No. 9 University of Oregon. Despite the loss, the sold out crowd at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon was still filled with celebrities to see just how far Coach Prime can take the Buffalos in 2023. Although the loss knocked Colorado outside of the AP’s top-25 poll, all eyes will still be glued to Coach Prime’s squad as they face No. 8 University of Southern California and Heisman winner Caleb Williams on Saturday afternoon in what is sure to be yet another record-breaking game.


Featured photo courtesy of @CUBuffs, X