The University of Colorado and Coach Prime will be holding their Junior Day on Saturday, January 28th. Junior Days are events hosted by college programs where prospective recruits who are in their junior year of high school or earlier, have the opportunity to meet the coaching staff and visit campus. Coach Prime is doing his best to flip Colorado’s roster…
After two tough losses out west last week, Colorado looked to rebound with a two-game homestand hosting the Washington schools. The much-needed rebound eventually came on Sunday when Washington State came to town. However, Thursday’s troubling loss to Washington further exposed the Buffs’ weaknesses and now CU finds themselves toward the bottom of the Pac-12 standings. With another week in…
There has been a lot of information flying around when it comes to Coach Prime, his staff and which players are joining or leaving CU. To help make sense of it all and consolidate all that information in one place, here is the Prime Tracker.This article will be updated often and the latest updates will be moved to the top…
Another week out west did not spell success for Colorado. The Buffs took on the Los Angeles schools this past week, falling to quality teams in both USC and UCLA in close efforts. Losing close games to quality teams doesn’t move you up the Pac-12 standings though. Here are the three main takeaways from another worrisome road trip that leaves…
2023 is shaping up to be a year to remember for fans of the Colorado Buffaloes. Coach Prime is completely re-shaping and re-doing the football program and Tad Boyle has Buffs basketball on a role when it comes to the recruiting trail. Both programs are in great shape. With that being said, here are 20 predictions ahead of 2023. 1.…...
The Buffs started 2023 with a bang! After a head-scratching loss at Cal, the Buffs traveled back to the CU Events Center to face both Oregon schools. Tad Boyle and company dismantled both the Ducks and the Beavers at home, getting back to .500 in conference play. Here are the three takeaways from an encouraging weekend up in Boulder. Defensive…
Travis Hunter arrives at CU as the headliner that makes up Coach Prime’s “Louis luggage”. Last year, in his true freshman season Hunter proved immediately that his talent is as advertised.
While he will be facing a step-up in competition this season, last year at Jackson State Hunter provided some epic highlights at both cornerback and wide receiver.
In this edition of the Buffs Film Room, we break down Hunter’s best plays from the 2022 season and project which position he will have the greatest impact.
Prime Time Protege
When Hunter committed to JSU, he threw a curveball into the college football landscape and certified Coach Prime as a force to be reckoned with as a recruiter.
Coach Prime’s playing career doesn’t need to be explained, but it made perfect sense that the best two-way player in the class decided he wanted to learn from one of the best two-way players and athletes of all time.
Hunter possesses the speed, length and ball skills to be a lockdown corner and he showed that consistently as a freshman at JSU.
Against Alcorn State, Hunter notched his first career pick-six. Let’s start from the very beginning with how Hunter covers the receiver’s release. He’s smooth and square until the receiver breaks towards the sideline and #12 is able to match him stride for stride and sit on the route just as the receiver does. The receiver is blanketed and the Florida native is able to win the battle for the football and take it back for six.
Now let’s focus on the ball skills. This pass is tipped at the line of scrimmage and Hunter makes an incredibly athletic play to try and scoop up the flailing ball. Hunter would fail to complete the catch on the play, but the athletic display is spectacular.
Later on against Texas Southern, we got a chance to see how Hunter operates in true one-on-one situations on an island. The receiver gains a step on Hunter off the line but like a veteran, Hunter shows no panic and chooses the perfect moment to play the ball and force a pass breakup.
This interception is the result of a poorly thrown football, but Hunter shows great ability to play zone and trail receivers down the field to take advantage of these opportunities. The catch is effortless and then the new Buff's natural talent as a runner takes over.
We will talk about more plays from this game later on, but watch how easy this is for Hunter. He shows his composure, quick feet and technique off the line on the receiver's release, and watch how easy it is for him to work over the pick route and nearly pick off another pass.
It’s only five clips but the talent is undeniable. Hunter shows better and cleaner movement skills, ball skills and technique than some of the players I watched for NFL Draft purposes last spring. It makes sense why he wanted to play under Coach Prime and learn from one of the best to ever do it.
Yes, these clips are against SWAC players but there is nothing to suggest that Hunter would not be able to create plays like that in the Pac-12 and Power 5 level.
There are things that need to be cleaned up and Hunter is by no means a finished product when it comes to development, but he’s not far off. As good of a player as he already is and can be at cornerback, there is a legitimate argument that Hunter is an even better wide receiver.
Travis Hunter is already CU’s best receiver
Two-way players are rare these days. And even the best of the “true” two-way players are only really great at one position. Travis Hunter is great at cornerback and wide receiver.
In a podcast with Shannon Sharpe in December, Coach Prime said, “That’s what he loves. There’s a love and a like. He loves to play receiver. DB is something that he can do, really well and better than a lot of others. But if I had to put my money on him, he loves catching that football a lot more than he loves defending it.”
The tipping point for Hunter and his ability as a receiver occurred in the 2022 Celebration Bowl. The former number one overall recruit became Shedeur Sanders’ go-to receiver in crunch time and was one of the reasons why Jackson State had a great shot at winning that football game.
Colorado’s men’s basketball team stumbled into the new year on a low note. After winning their first conference game of the season at Stanford, CU left Buff Nation shaking their heads after a puzzling loss to the lowly Cal Golden Bears. It was once again another volatile week for this unpredictable Buff team, and with that volatility comes three takeaways…
The University of Colorado went on winter break this past week, and with that comes a pivotal stretch for the basketball team. Head coach Tad Boyle and players both emphasized the importance of this non-conference slate prior to the matchup against CSU and how this is when they can start to find their groove. After a solid pair of home…
In one of his first moves as CU’s latest head coach, Coach Prime hired Sean Lewis to be the Buffs’ offensive coordinator.
Lewis was the head coach of Kent State from 2018-2022 when Coach Prime and Colorado came calling. The Buffs were willing to buy out Lewis from his head coaching contract for $750,000 to lead the offense in Boulder.
In his five years at Kent State, the Golden Flashes only went 24-31. With Dustin Krum as Lewis’ starting quarterback from 2019-2021, despite the record, Kent State was one of the most dynamic and explosive offenses in the country.
In Krum’s final year with Lewis in 2021, Kent State ranked 5th in the country in yards per game (494.6), 10th in plays per game (75.1) and 30th in points per game (33.0).
In this edition of Buffs Film Room, we take a deep dive into Lewis’ offense and how his scheme is an even more modern take on current college-football trends.
Everything has an option
RPOs, read options, pre-snap motion and misdirection have become commonplace in college football but Sean Lewis cranks it up another 10 notches.
Nearly every single play Lewis calls has an option attached to it, sometimes multiple options. Lewis had good success at Kent State with Dustin Krum at quarterback but as Krum got wiser and more experienced, the Golden Flash offense began to soar.
As I noted in the Shedeur Sanders film room, Sanders is a smart and cerebral quarterback but don’t be surprised if there are some growing pains as he settles into Lewis’ offense.
This play has three options for the quarterback: a shovel pass to the h-back, tucking and running or throwing downfield. Watch how this play affects Buffalo’s second level. No matter what those linebackers decide to do, Lewis has a counter.
Later on against Buffalo, Lewis adds another wrinkle to this shovel option. Kent State flows heavily into the boundary with the shovel and speed option aspect we saw before but now the slot player comes back around on an end around with two linemen leading the way.
Pre-snap, this look screams QB sneak. But Lewis is one step ahead and calls a perfectly timed speed option out of this formation.
This clip is from 2022 with Collin Schlee at quarterback. The play starts off like most zone-read options do but Kent State lines up their h-back to the boundary and then run him underneath the line to the field side flat.
Here is another variation of that same RPO flat option.
Lewis also has these funky, outside zone, read options that almost look like inverted veer. Instead, Lewis’ wrinkle is having the left tackle wrap around for an iso/insert block. The left tackle creates a massive lane for Krum to run through on the read-option pull.
Here we have a power RPO to the field with a slant flat concept attached to the backside. This is a more convenient RPO but as you’ll begin to notice, Lewis loves pulling his backside linemen at nearly every opportunity.
Now we have a jet sweep read option that plays out beautifully. The sideline-to-sideline action of the jet sweep in conjunction with the left tackle and guard pulling upfield and kicking out create a natural crease for Schlee to run into. The left tackle has a free run up to the safety!
Power run game is the backbone of the offense
As previously mentioned, Lewis loves pulling linemen across the formation to gain a numbers advantage in the run game. Guard/tackle (GT) power and counter are the base plays that make most of this offense work and make sense.
But as we will get into, the h-back and center are also utilized to pull across and make big blocks in Lewis’ offense.
There is jet motion and an h-back lead across the formation but this is essentially a power read. Lewis also has the weakside receiver tagged to run a curl on this play also.
Here is the play in its most bare form, GT counter-read. Krum reads the strongside end, pulls the ball and
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“I expect to be great. I expect to do what hasn’t been done. I expect to provoke change.”- Deion Sanders It sure has been shinier around here this last week or so, hasn’t it? Especially if you are a CU Buffs fan. The air is almost… sparkly… https://giphy.com/gifs/nflonprime-amazon-prime-video-zgMB1G59nRVuiGt1x9 Maybe there’s why. That incandescent human being is Prime Time, also known…
The Colorado Buffaloes have their quarterback. Sunday, Deion Sanders was introduced as the latest CU head football coach and he also introduced CU’s starting quarterback. Coach Prime’s son, Shedeur Sanders will be the man behind center for Colorado in 2023. He was a four-star recruit in the 2021 recruiting class who earned 26 offers that included Alabama, Michigan, Oregon and…
It doesn’t happen in real life.
When it happens in a movie, people roll their eyes.
Deus ex machina… Deion ex machina.
It’s Prime Time in Boulder! The Colorado Buffaloes have hired Deion Sanders to be their 28th head football coach. Sanders leaves Jackson State University after leading the Tigers to their second straight SWAC conference title. The Tigers beat the Southern Jaguars on Saturday, 43-24. For weeks, rumors have been circulating that CU leadership has been making changes to current restrictions…
J’Vonne Hadley’s journey to Boulder took a couple of detours through Northeastern and Indian Hills Community College but this season he has cemented himself as one of Colorado’s more impactful players. Coming into 2022-2023, Colorado had to replace starters Jabari Walker and Evan Battey after both moved on to the next level. Head coach Tad Boyle was vocal in the…
The commitments of Cody Williams and Assane Diop to Boulder and head coach Tad Boyle have Colorado’s basketball program riding a massive wave of momentum.
Even with the 2022-2023 team’s inconsistency so far, it’s tantalizing to imagine how all these pieces are going to fit together for 2023-2024.
Duvalier “Dev” Johnson, Content Specialist for Prep Hoods, has offered his analysis and insight to break down exactly what CU is getting from Cody Williams and Assane Diop.
Jake: What kind of player is Assane Diop right now?
Dev: Assane Diop checks off every single box that you want in a basketball player. He is a smooth and agile 6'10 player that puts the team first and truly loves the game. He is capable of stepping out and knocking down the 3-ball, is an athletic defender and is an excellent passer. You don't typically get playmakers at 6'10 that you can put the ball in their hands and they can make things happen and that is what separates Diop. He uses his long and slender frame to defend positions 1 through 4 and he moves his feet well to stay in front of defenders. Diop is an intriguing athlete with the right tools and he is going to benefit greatly from a program that allows players with his size to explore his game a bit.
Jake: What about Cody Williams?
Dev: In Cody Williams, Colorado is getting a humble competitor and winner. Williams led Perry to their 1st state championship. He is a balanced player that has all of the tools and with his size and ability to take over, Colorado is getting a player that they will be able to run an offense through. Williams is a hard worker that competes at a high level and is able to knock down the 3-ball but also gets into the open court to show off his athleticism.
He has the tools to be an elite defender who can stay in front of his defender, can guard multiple positions, and challenges himself on that end of the floor. What you don't see in the stat books but really pops is that you can tell that Williams is big on family as he spoke about the connectedness and togetherness of the Colorado men's basketball team and he wants to add and build on that culture. Colorado getting their first 5-star recruit that truly seems to be into what it is they are building is a tell-tale sign of great things to come. The future looks bright in Boulder.
Jake: What is the ceiling for Cody Williams?
Dev: The ceiling for Williams is...
The Colorado Buffaloes wrap up the 2022 season on Saturday against the Utah Utes and thus begins the bitter-sweet process of saying goodbye to this year’s seniors. In his weekly press conference on Tuesday, interim head coach Mike Sanford mentioned each and every senior that will be suiting up as a Buff for the last time this weekend. The 18…
The Buffs’ performance at the Myrtle Beach Invitational was as entertaining as it was confusing. The highlight of the tournament was Friday’s huge 103-75 upset win over the #24 Texas A&M Aggies. But the high of that win was dragged down by Colorado’s disappointing losses against UMass on Thursday and Boise State on Sunday. To try and make sense of…
November continues on and so do the Buffs as they navigate their way through their toughest month on the schedule. Colorado will be making the trip to Seattle to take on the 17th-ranked Washington Huskies and the nation’s leading passer in Michael Penix Jr. Penix and the Huskies are coming off of a massive upset win in Eugene over the…
Roll Tad. Four-star recruit Assane Diop committed to the University of Colorado on Tuesday afternoon. Colorado basketball secured their first five-star recruit in the Tad Boyle era in Cody Williams on November 9th. Three-star recruit Courtney Anderson also committed to the Buffs on September 23rd. Head coach Tad Boyle has assembled one of the best recruiting classes in Colorado basketball…