Coach Prime accused of looking for shortcuts with Colorado football recruiting strategy

Arizona v Colorado
Arizona v Colorado / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

Coach Prime was accused by Mike Farrell (of the Mike Farrell Sports brand) of looking for shortcuts through his Colorado football recruiting strategy of building his roster through 80% transfers and only 20% incoming freshman.

"Spin it all you want with the transfer portal focus, but seven high school signees is not good and does not come close to helping to lay a foundation or a culture," Farrell prefaced before saying, "There is some talent here, but Deion Sanders is looking for shortcuts."

The Athletic’s David Ubben (subscription required) explained Deion Sanders' longstanding recruiting strategy that dates back to his days at Jackson State.

"Sanders recruited his roster to Jackson State without the backing of a deep-pocketed collective, and with George sitting in his home, Sanders laid out his vision that was similar to what he’d done in Jackson. Sanders refers to it as his 40-40-20 model," Ubben prefaced before saying, " That’s a roster made up of 40 percent graduate transfers, 40 percent undergraduate transfers and 20 percent high school signees."

Coach Prime sacrificing long-term stability for short-term gains at Colorado football

While bringing on 5-star OT Jordan Seaton was one of the biggest recruiting wins of the offseason for any program in the country, providing not a single other offensive lineman to grow alongside is a questionable strategy. At best.

Winning the transfer portal every year isn't going to lead to wins on the field. Hell, it certainly didn't do that in year one of the "Prime Time" era in Boulder.

The Buffs made major strides in 2023, but the bar was low. That bar will be raised as time goes by, and there will be a point when CU will have a ceiling. The teams that win year after year, the Alabama's, the Georgia's, the Michigan's, the Ohio State's -- they reel in blue-chip OL year after year from the high school ranks.

Colorado could be okay with having a 2022 TCU-like run one day. But to become one of the aforementioned evergreen contenders, that 40-40-20 model may require a shake-up once the Buffs are solidly out of the pre-Prime doldrums.