Colorado football head coach Deion Sanders sends strong message on NIL-focused recruits

SiriusXM at Super Bowl LVIII – Feb 8
SiriusXM at Super Bowl LVIII – Feb 8 / Cindy Ord/GettyImages

Colorado football head coach Deion Sanders had a predictable, fiery, and yet measured, take on recruiting during the NIL during an appearance on Front Office Sports Today: he doesn't want players whose primary focus is getting paid, but rather players who want to be great and end up getting paid.

"I don't attract that type of player," Sanders said (h/t Bleacher Report). "I attract the type of player that wants to be great, that understands he has a window of opportunity and he has to have a commitment to excellence.

"There are players who are playing for a bag, which growing up in the environment, you can't blame them, you can't fault them. If you're going to give up a bag, you're gonna have players playing for a bag, so I do understand it. I may not condone that's your focus because I've always thought if you just focus on being great, the bag is gonna find you."

Colorado football head coach Deion Sanders always sends mixed messages on NIL

Sanders has said that he doesn't want players to be focused on NIL but yet has two of the top seven earners, his son Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter, in NIL valuation. He claims he doesn't want NIL-focused players but he was able to nab two 5-star recruits the past two offseasons in Cormani McClain and Jordan Seaton whose valuation is above $300K. And that's not even getting into transfers who've come to the program worth at or around that much like LaJohntay Wester. Though I suppose we did just get into that.

Postgame CEO and co-founder Bill Jula, who represents Shedeur and Shilo Sanders and Hunter, told me in January that Coach Prime was likely giving lip service with his Colorado isn't an ATM comment, so take everything he says about it with a grain of salt. If anything, Sanders may be coping with the fact that Colorado doesn't have the deep pockets to compete with the Ohio State Buckeyes and Texas Longhorns of the world.