Deion Sanders is shaking up the amateur football landscape, especially in the recruiting department. His decision to leave Jackson State and become the new head coach at Colorado has suddenly made the Buffaloes major players in the recruiting game.
On Sunday, five-star wide receiver Winston Watkins Jr. (class of 2025) committed to Colorado. Watkins is the cousin of Green Bay Packers wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who’s scored 34 touchdowns in 108 career NFL games and won a Super Bowl.
Watkins shared the news with an edit on Twitter:
— Winston Watkins Jr. (@winstonwatkins_) December 4, 2022
Watkins (5-foot-10, 172 pounds) plays for IMG Academy in Florida, a magnet for elite high school football talent. He’s ranked No. 4 among wide receivers by the 247Sports composite and No. 13 overall in his class.
Watkins had offers from 17 other programs, including Texas A&M, which had been the favorite to land him.
If nothing else, Watkins won’t be lonely. According to a report by Josh Newberg at on3, Colorado has had over 200 recruits reach out since the Sanders news became official, including some four and five-star prospects.
A source at Colorado tells me over 200 recruits and portal transfers have reached out in the last 12 hours.
Some of them are 4 and 5-star caliber players. Deion Sanders has a chance to make some noise before Signing Day.
NIL money is also rolling in, I’m told.
— Josh Newberg (@josh_newberg) December 5, 2022
Getting Watkins puts Colorado at the top of the ’25 recruiting rankings, but Sanders has inherited the No. 61 ranked recruiting class in 2023, and Colorado currently has no recruits for 2024.
However, Sanders is planning to bring over many of his former players from Jackson State and advised current Colorado players to enter the transfer portal.
Deion Sanders telling the CU Buffs football team that he’s bringing his own luggage, and that they better hit the portal. This is crazy 🤯 pic.twitter.com/004LUKiTr2
— College FB Transfer Portal (@CollegeFBPortal) December 4, 2022
For starters, Jackson’s son Shedeur will be starting at quarterback.
More recruiting stories
Ranking the top 100 recruits of 2023
Alabama increases ’23 lead, Georgia flips 4-star WR
USA TODAY Sports Super 25 high school football rankings