Colorado football: Buffs reel in West Virginia transfer, three-star linebacker The Denver Post

On Friday afternoon, Deion Sanders was focused on coaching his final game with Jackson State, but he also knew the importance of the weekend in his new job.

Asked if he’s excited to be a Colorado Buffalo, Sanders responded by saying, “I’m excited about turning this thing around. I’m excited about that. And I love the challenge of it.”

Following JSU’s disappointing overtime loss to North Carolina Central in the Celebration Bowl on Saturday in Atlanta, Sanders is now all-in on the challenge at CU. And, the process of turning it around is well under way.

On Sunday, the Buffs got verbal commitments from West Virginia transfer Taijh Alston and three-star linebacker prospect Kofi Taylor-Barrocks.

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The early national letter of intent signing period starts Wednesday and a recruiting dead period begins Monday, which made this a big weekend for Sanders and his staff.

About 25 recruits were on campus this weekend, according to 247Sports.com, including Alston, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound edge player who will be a seventh-year senior in 2023.

After redshirting at East Carolina in 2017, he spent the 2018 season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, earning first-team All-Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College honors.

Alston has spent the last four years at West Virginia, but played in only three games from 2019-20 because of injuries. In 2021, he started 12 games, racking up 37 tackles, five sacks and 11 tackles for loss. This year, he played in all 12 games and had 18 tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss.

During his first three years at West Virginia, he was a teammate of Josh Chandler-Semedo, who transferred to CU last summer and led the Buffs in tackles this season.

Taylor-Barrocks, a 6-3, 220-pound linebacker from England, committed to Sanders and Jackson State on Sept. 29, but he decommitted on Saturday. CU’s previous staff gave Taylor-Barrocks a scholarship offer over the summer.

Overall, Taylor-Barrocks has 10 scholarship offers, including from Michigan State, Mississippi and West Virginia. He is the fifth prep player to commit to CU since Sanders was hired on Dec. 4. Overall, CU has 11 prep players committed.

Among the other players in Boulder this weekend was South Carolina commit Vicari Swain, a four-star athlete from Carrollton, Ga.; Kansas commit Kasen Weisman, a three-star quarterback from Douglasville, Ga.; and four-star athlete Malachi Coleman from Lincoln, Neb. Projected to sign with Nebraska, Coleman cancelled an official visit to Michigan to visit CU instead.

According to 247Sports, transfers Vonta Bentley (linebacker from Clemson), Shane Cokes (defensive lineman from Dartmouth), Re’mahn Davis (running back from Vanderbilt), Jimmy Horn Jr. (receiver from South Florida) and PJ Williams (offensive lineman from Texas A&M) are also visiting CU.

On Saturday night, Sanders’ two sons, Shedeur and Shilo, both officially entered the transfer portal. Both are sophomores at Jackson State and Sanders has said his sons are coming with him. Sanders has said at least 10 JSU players will join him in Boulder.

Shedeur is a 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback who completed 70.6% of his passes for 3,732 yards, 40 touchdowns and only six interceptions this season for the Tigers. He also ran for 173 yards and six scores. In the Celebration Bowl, he threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns and ran for a score. A potential fifth TD pass was dropped in the end zone in overtime.

Shilo is a 6-0, 195-pound safety who played in only eight games this season. He had 20 tackles – including five on Saturday – an interception and four pass breakers. He began his career at South Carolina before transferring to JSU. Because he’s already transferred once, he needs to graduate before coming to CU and may need to spend the spring semester at Jackson State.

Also on Sunday, Carter Stoutmire, a 5-11, 170-pound cornerback from Plano, Texas, decommitted from Arizona and it’s expected he will sign with CU. A three-start prospect with a handful of Power 5 offers, he was in Boulder this weekend. His father, Omar, played two seasons with Sanders with the Dallas Cowboys (1997-98).

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