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Deion: My wins are 'judged on a different scale'

Dustin Bradford / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Colorado's Deion Sanders believes his victories should carry more weight than those of other head coaches because he has to balance players' on-field success with academics.

The Buffaloes enter their sophomore campaign under Sanders with the goal of taking more positive strides. Colorado captured the country's attention with wins over TCU, Nebraska, and rival Colorado State to start the 2023 season. Sanders' team struggled afterward, however, losing nine of its final 10 contests to finish with a 4-8 record.

"I'm judged on a different scale. My wins are totally different than your wins," Sanders said Wednesday, per 9News. "You're just judging football."

Sanders explained he can't win nine games and have the school's GPA suffer, or vice versa. He also highlighted that the character of the players the school recruits, whether from high school or through the transfer portal, are reflective of the head coach and his staff. It's a level of expectation that Sanders is more than willing to embrace.

"My wins are different. We have to win in every area. That's the way we're judged. I'm cool with that because we come a little bit different. So the expectation is greater. But it's not just football, it's been like that all my life. ... The expectation you have for me would never outweigh the expectation I have for myself."

Sanders tapped back into the transfer portal this offseason to shore up holes on the roster. One of the more glaring needs was solidifying an offensive line that allowed quarterback Shedeur Sanders to be sacked an NCAA-high 52 times last year. Colorado also addressed its depth on the defensive line and will still be headlined by two-way star Travis Hunter.

"This team is phenomenal," Sanders said, according to Rivals' Troy Finnegan. "I know we grabbed a lot of guys out of the portal, but you've gotta understand we grabbed a lot of mature guys. We grabbed guys that are smart, tough, fast, disciplined, and have character."

While Colorado has relied on the transfer portal since Sanders' hire in December 2022, the coach made sure to point out the impact of high school recruits during the 2023 campaign. Of the 17 high school recruits who enrolled last year, 13 took snaps for the Buffaloes.

The recruiting landscape has changed over recent years largely due to NIL legislation, but Sanders continues to embrace the recruitment process.

"I love it. Sometimes I don't like it, but I love it and I love that these kids are being compensated somewhat for what they bring to the table," Sanders said. "I don't want them to put the bag before the game because if you have the game the bag is going to come. I want them to understand that."

Colorado kicks off its season against North Dakota State on Aug. 29.

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