'No question' Coach Prime's less-heralded son makes impactful plays for Colorado football

13th Annual NFL Honors - Arrivals
13th Annual NFL Honors - Arrivals / Luke Hales/GettyImages

BuffZone's Brian Howell believes there's "no question" Shilo Sanders makes impactful plays for his father Coach Prime's Colorado football defense -- though he does believe that the Buffs' defense's "unsung hero" has several areas of need to address before CU could truly take off in 2024.

"There’s no question he makes impactful plays," Howell prefaced before saying, "He was second on the team with 67 tackles and had an 80-yard interception return for touchdown to spark a win against Colorado State. Nationally, only two players forced more fumbles than Sanders (four) and it would be difficult to find a safety that hits harder than he does. Sanders’ penchant for the big hit, however, sometimes led to him whiffing and getting beat. The next step for him is to tighten up his game in coverage and go for the sure tackle at times, rather than the knockout blow."

BuffsBeat’s J’Mar Smith echoed a similar sentiment before the end of the season.

“While this season was brimming with hope, it has somehow lost its spark,” Smith prefaced before saying, “Even so, one Sanders’ has had an unbelievable season. No, I’m not talking about Shedeur, I’m talking about the anchor of the secondary, safety Shilo Sanders. Sanders has been the unsung hero for a Colorado defense that is ranked in the bottom of their conference.”

Shilo Sanders must use more finesse and less brute force during 2024 Colorado football season

Shilo always showed effort, but as Howell said, he'd be prone to get burned ditching fundamentals in the pursuit of highlights during year one in Boulder. That lack of focus was sometimes evident even before games; with Sanders' threat to Oregon players and Ducks head coach Dan Lanning being Shilo's personal lowlight thus far.

Luckily, Sanders has already been essentially promised an NFL home with the Dallas Cowboys, so if he can tighten up his game, the pros are almost certainly calling his name.