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Deion Sanders likes commitment, work ethic of Buffaloes

Coach Deion Sanders expressed confidence that the right pieces are in place for the Colorado Buffaloes to improve in his second season at the helm, telling reporters Wednesday at Big 12 Media Day he’s impressed by the commitment across the board from his new coaching hires and players.

“When I see the offensive line and the way they train, the way they work, the way they go about their job,” Sanders said when asked what makes him think this year’s squad will do better than last year’s 4-8 record. “When I see the defensive line coaches and the way they’re on their kids and the way they’re demanding excellence. …

“When I see the receiving core staying after practice to work with the quarterback. Quarterbacks coming over there on off days to work with one another. When I see the running backs doing the same, led by a former walk-on Charlie Offerdahl.”

Sanders also called out additions to his coaching staff, which was brought up to the NCAA-limit of 10 with multiple hires in the offseason, including offensive line coach Phil Loadholt, wide receivers coach Jason Phillips and defensive coordinator Robert Livingston.

“Coach Livingston was recommended to me by a few pros I’m very familiar with and I trust, Mike Zimmer being one of them,” Sanders said Wednesday. “In his interview process and his consistency and his thought process and his relatability placed him well above the other applicants.”

Livingston, a former safety at William & Mary, comes to Colorado after nine seasons on the staff of the Cincinnati Bengals, the last seven focusing on safeties.

“I pray to God that I can keep him, ’cause I feel like we’re gonna kick butt, we’re gonna win, and he’s gonna be a head coach in college or pros or whatever he endeavors because he’s that good. … When I tell you he’s awesome, he’s totally awesome.”

Sanders had high praise for Trevor Woods, who made a change from safety to linebacker last season.

“And I really think this young man is going to be the next Brian Urlacher,” Sanders said of the junior from Houston. “I think he’s going to make that transition from safety to linebacker and be dominant.”

Sanders expressed a belief that his team will have four players selected in the first round of the NFL draft.

“I just see the want and the fire and the desire from our young men, and I can’t wait for you to get the opportunity to see it as well,” Sanders said. “So I’m very optimistic on what we have on our plate this year.”

The Buffaloes open Sanders’ second season at home against North Dakota State on Aug. 29.

–Field Level Media

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