Colorado football coach Deion Sanders' first recruiting class includes top cornerback prospect Cormani McClain. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 2 (UPI) -- New Colorado coach Deion Sanders' recruiting pitch is more focused on getting players to the NFL instead of bringing them money through name, image and likeness (NIL) deals, he told reporters at a news conference.
Sanders spoke about his upcoming 2023 class of recruits on national signing day Wednesday in Boulder, Colo. The Buffaloes class is No. 21 overall at 247Sports, the highest-rated class in 15 years at Colorado.
"I don't sell nothing. Is it what it is," Sanders said. "One of the first things I said is that if you are here for NIL or you are rich, we are not the school for you. If you are here to become a man. get a degree, a tremendous eduction, and grow, win and go pro, possibly if you do all the correct things, we are.
"We're not in it for the NIL. We are here for the NFL. We are here to make you a man. We don't have anything for sale."
He said his recruiting staff examined more than 150 schools, including a nine-state recruiting phase in five days last December. The staff visited 19 states in 10 days in January. He also said players from 15 states from the classes of 2025-27 recently visited campus.
Sanders, who was hired in December, said his first class also includes players from 16 states, a school record.
Cormani McLain, a cornerback from Lakeland Fla., is the Buffaloes' highest-rated prospect in the class. Running back Dylan Edwards, wide receivers Adam Hopkins and Omarion Miller are among the other highly-rated prospects. The class also features edge rusher Taje McCoy, linebacker Morgan Pearson, quarterback Ryan Staub and cornerback Carter Stoutmire, among other 3-star recruits.
Sanders also improved the Buffaloes' roster with the addition of several top-rated transfers, including five-star cornerback/wide receiver Travis Hunter and his son, quarterback Shedeur Sanders.
"We're not recruiting just no ordinary Tom, Dick and Harry," Sanders said. "We recruited some guys that can light up the scoreboard and prevent touchdowns from occurring. We're coming. We're serious about that.
"Hope is in the house. Hope is in the air. Hope is in the city. Hope is in the community."
Sanders joked that he still doesn't know several of the new players' names, so he will be dependent on the names on the back of their jerseys. A total of 35 new players are set to be on the spring roster.
The Buffaloes will start practice March 19 and play their spring game April 27 in Boulder. They will open the season against TCU on Sept. 2 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.