Last Updated on September 22, 2023
It is no secret that Deion Sanders, known these days as Coach Prime, is a mega-celebrity. From his days at Florida State, to stardom in the NFL and a nine-year MLB career, Sanders has marched to the beat of his own drum.
That fact has not changed in his coaching career, Exhibit A being “sunglass gate” from the week leading up to a rivalry matchup with Colorado State. Sanders spent some time coaching high school football, before leading Jackson State from 2020-2022, but this is his first head coaching gig at a Power 5 institution.
While finding success at Jackson State on the field, Sanders raised the profile of HBCU schools, frequently appearing on national television games and finding himself the subject of national sports talk. Taking over at Colorado, Coach Prime and his team have been an instant success, with a 3-0 start following a 1-11 season last year. For a recently dormant program, Coach Prime has been the shot in the arm needed to return to relevancy.
Sanders has done envious work in the transfer portal, including landing both of his sons, Shedeur and Shilo Sanders, and Travis Hunter, the top player in the 2022 high school class. It is no coincidence that those three players are the top NIL-earners on Colorado’s roster.
Shedeur Sanders, who has starred at quarterback, tops the list at $4.1 million, according to On3.com. Hunter is also over a million dollars, checking in at $1.8 million, according to On3.
In all, eight Buffaloes rake in over six figures worth of NIL deals, according to On3. In response to Sunglass Gate, Coach Prime partnered with Blenders Eyewear, creating more opportunities for Colorado by pairing a partnership with the athletic department alongside Coach Prime’s deal.
With the transfer portal churning more now than ever, creating more NIL opportunities will no doubt attract more talent.
As Colorado keeps winning and rising in national prominence, Sanders will more than earn his $5.5 million base salary this season.
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Combine a flashy, superstar coach like Coach Prime and a 3-0 record, and Colorado’s team has quickly become the most marketable team in America.