In Colorado’s first official team meeting following a mass exodus of players into the transfer portal, Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders delivered a powerful message to his team about achieving “success” and making it to the NFL.
Sanders, who previously served as head coach at Jackson State, has seen nearly 50 players leave the team since his arrival in December and more than 70 in total enter the transfer portal since August, according to ESPN.
However, despite the massive overhaul, Sanders is still committed to turning around a program that went just 1-11 last season.
“Success is something, really a quality or goal that you set for yourself and you achieve it or obtain it – through discipline and routine. That’s success,” Sanders said in a video posted to the YouTube account “Well Off Media,” which is run by his son.
“I want every last one of you, including the coaches, to have success and to be successful. But that’s a whole different thing than winning.”
“Winning and success [are] two different things,” he continued. “Winning is something you do that affects the other men. Because success doesn’t do that.”
“But we gotta win. That’s the goal.”
Sanders is well aware of what it takes to be successful, but even as a two-time Super Bowl champion, eight-time Pro Bowler, and one-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Sanders cautioned his players that success is not defined by turning pro.
“You are here for a common goal, and that’s to win and for you to have success,” he said.
“I want all of y’all to go to pro but nine times out of 10 that ain’t going to happen. But that does not negate the fact that you could be successful. The richest men in America never played ball.”
Despite the roster shakeup, expectations are still high for Sanders. Just last week, Colorado sold 11,273 single-game tickets, the largest one-day total for individual games in team history. The university previously sold out of its season-ticket allotment for the first time since 1996.
“Let’s work on dominating and it starts today,” Sanders said during the meeting. “Be on time, be aware, do what you’re supposed to do, and let’s do this thing.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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