Analyst fears first-year Colorado football DC won't take pressure off Shedeur Sanders

Oregon State v Colorado
Oregon State v Colorado / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

FOX Sports' RJ Young fears that Shedeur Sanders will have to carry the load for the Colorado football program again in 2024 despite the addition of rising star defensive coordinator Robert Livingston from the Cincinnati Bengals.

"He [has] got a lot to prove with Shedeur [Sanders] going into a draft-eligible year, Shilo [Sanders] being draft-eligible, choosing to come back, Travis Hunter going into a draft-eligible year, he needs those dudes to show up and play," Young said on "The No. 1 College Football Show with RJ Young." "More than that, he needs [offensive line coach] Phil Loadholt to put an offensive line out that can protect the quarterback, and he's going to need [defensive coordinator] Robert Livingston to put a defense on the field that can keep people under 28 [points] because that's what it feels like. Feels like they're going to just give it up, and then Shedeur's going to have to throw for 500 [yards] and five touchdowns to go get them these wins, but they are capable.

"I think if [Coach] Prime can flip around the first losing season that he has suffered as a head coach in this sport, that's going to be tremendous. But if he goes 4-8 a second time, we might have to start talking about him a little bit differently; he knows that better than anybody else."

Shedeur Sanders believes he faced more adversity at Jackson State and Colorado football than QB peers did

Sanders believes that his road to the pros -- he is considered a top prospect in the 2024 NFL draft, with his father Coach Prime believing he's a top-two pick -- has been tougher than quarterback peers like Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Bo Nix.

"I’m biased, but I don’t see a quarterback that’s better than me," Sanders prefaced before saying, "I don’t see a quarterback that went through as much adversity as me, that had four [offensive coordinators] in four years.

"Coming from an HBCU, coming to a Power Five [school], having real pressure on me. A lot of people don’t understand, that’s a lot more adversity than you think just even being the son of Deion Sanders."

Sanders sees yet another change in 2024, though first-year full-time offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur did get to implement his offense in 2023 following a promotion for him/demotion for Sean Lewis.

If he can do his part, Livingston's first-year performance will determine how high (or low) Colorado's ceiling will be in Shedeur's final collegiate season.