After beating the brakes off the hated Nebraska Cornhuskers, Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders and the Buffs will face their in-state rivals in a battle for the Centennial Cup. Coach Prime admitted last week that he was still getting up to speed when it comes to Colorado’s rivalry with Nebraska and he said the same this week when it comes to…
Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders put the nation on notice after last Saturday’s win over then #17 TCU and immediately caught the attention of some of the nation’s best recruits. The number one recruit in the 2025 class, five-star QB Bryce Underwood, will be visiting Boulder for the USC game and 2025 four-star QB Antwann Hill will visit for the Stanford…
On today’s DNVR Buffs Podcast, RK and Jake dive into the film and break down how Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter’s dominant performances propelled Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes to a win over the #17 TCU Horned Frogs. The guys also discuss what everyone else is saying today about Coach Prime’s Buffs. Score the best seats in…
The first fall camp of the Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders era is underway in Colorado and with that comes the next edition of DNVR’s Prime Tracker. After each practice under the Flatirons up until the week of the TCU game, you can find all of DNVR and Thee Pregame Show’s analysis and thoughts on each practice through camp here. Author’s…
Every single position room has been improved by Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders and his staff in their efforts to completely rebuild and retool Colorado’s roster in one off-season. Given who he was as a player, it’s not surprising that Coach Prime said he wants to build his team from the outside in. While those positions will be what determines the…
(featured image credit: CU Athletics) After serving as Colorado’s running backs coach dating back to 2016, legendary Colorado quarterback Darian Hagan was one of two staff members to be retained by Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders from the old regime. Now serving as the Executive Director of Community Engagement & Outreach as well as Football Ambassador at Colorado, Hagan continues to…
Earlier this week Coach Prime and his staff brought in their 52nd transfer of the off-season in former JUCO QB Gavin Kuld. While Shedeur Sanders, Travis Hunter and Jimmy Horn Jr. among a handful of others are the headliners of this transfer class, it’s time we shine the spotlight on some other transfers who are primed to break out for…
Coach Prime has assembled one of the most fascinating rosters in the history of college football after he flipped Colorado’s roster this off-season. While some players stand out from the rest as obvious starters, there are multiple positions that are wide open as we approach the 2023 season. Last week on the DNVR Buffs Podcast we revealed our latest projected…
Rashaan Salaam, Eric Bieniemy, Chris Brown and Phillip Lindsay headline a long list of Colorado running back greats.
The Buffs may have their next in Alton McCaskill.
The former Houston Cougar was one of the best true freshmen in the country during the 2021 season as he produced 1074 all-purpose yards on 210 touches for 18 touchdowns. While he was only ranked the 27th best running back according to 247Sports 2021 Composite rankings, it took him two games before he took over as Houston's starting running back.
McCaskill sat out the 2022 season after suffering a torn ACL during spring practice before entering the transfer portal and committing to Colorado. How he's fully healthy and adding him to Coach Prime's roster gives Colorado one of the best running back rooms in the Pac-12 coming into the 2023 season.
From the moment McCaskill committed to Colorado, he became the Buffs' lead back ready to contribute in every facet of the offense.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds on Houston's 2022 roster, McCaskill was also a track star at Oak Ridge High School running a 10.91s 100-meter dash. He has a special combination of size, speed and strength that not only make him a force when running or catching the ball but also when asked to block in the pass or run game.
This is Alton McCaskill. Patience to hit the hole, a burst to daylight while breaking arm tackles along the way and forcing the defense to tackle him with multiple players.
While he is a disciplined, patient runner who allows plays to develop, McCaskill also has great vision and instincts to bounce runs outside the intended hole instantly.
Houston had a great team in 2021. Their offensive line does the majority of the work on this play but McCaskill has the ability to rip off large chunks of yardage on any given play. In 2021, he had 29 explosive runs (runs of 10+ yards).
This was McCaskill's first career touchdown. I've got to mention the great play design by Shannon Dawson who is now Miami's offensive coordinator. Colorado's newest running back shows a great play fake and then natural hands down the field to stroll into the end zone untouched.
Want him to be your lead blocker on a jet sweep or end around for Dylan Edwards or Jimmy Horn? McCaskill can do that for offensive coordinator Sean Lewis with no problem.
How about staying in the backfield to protect Sheduer Sanders against the blitz so the offense can go downfield? He checks that box as well.
Colorado fans would like to see McCaskill keep his head up if he's going to block faceup, but when you're a 215-pound back you're used to absorbing contact with ease.
Whatever the situation or play call may ask for, Alton McCaskill can be relied on to be on the field for Colorado at any point in 2023. He is a true, complete three-down back.
"McCaskill breaks free!"
Watching McCaskill run the football makes you hold your breath, waiting to see what else he is capable of and if the next play is when he is let loose.
2021 was Houston's best season since 2015 and McCaskill's playmaking ability was a huge reason why. That year McCaskill set a Houston freshman record for touchdowns in a season with 16.
The stop-start ability and patience McCaskill displays behind the line of scrimmage is not only a prime showcase of #22's discipline and natural ability, but it's also how he can turn a short gain into a touchdown. The left side of Houston's offensive line flat-out loses at the line of scrimmage but it gives McCaskill a crease to slam on the gas and score.
Houston is just trying to keep the clock running so they can get out of Louisiana and on their way back to Texas but McCaskill's strength and contact balance keep him upright to allow his speed to take another run to paydirt.
This play probably results in a negative gain for most freshman running backs. McCaskill finds the hole regardless and sprints through multiple arm tackles for a house call against Tulsa.
East Carolina already knows another McCaskill run is coming on first down as they commit hard to the top of the screen off of Houston's inside zone action. But McCaskill immediately diagnoses the flow of the defense and cuts back before bulldozing his way into the end zone in what would be the game-winning touchdown.
He may not be as fast as Dylan Edwards or Jimmy Horn, but if you give the former Cougar an alley to run through, McCaskill can turn on the burners and erase angles.
Long story short for these two teams in 2021; UConn was awful and Houston was pretty good. That McCaskill kid is pretty good too.
The latest starting offensive player added to Colorado's roster is a game-changer. The pieces are there for Sean Lewis to create and lead one of the Pac-12's most lethal offenses this fall. Now that Colorado has a dynamic, all-conference running back in McCaskill along with the threat of the passing game with Sheduer Sanders, Travis Hunter, Jimmy Horn, Xavier Weaver and company; the improvement in the Buffs' offensive talent this upcoming season compared to last year's is astronomical.
Short yardage monster
At this point, it goes without saying, McCaskill will lead the way for Colorado's power run game moving forward.
It's not just his size, strength and burst but his patience, vision and football intelligence that makes him so reliable. Sure, he could be a very good short-yardage back by utilizing his size and bowling ahead for as many yards as he can physically get. But watch how deliberate he is when he breaks for the line of scrimmage in the cut-up below.
It's evident in all the runs above, but the final run of the cut-up proves how smart and natural of a football player McCaskill is.
Colorado has a trio of hardnosed running backs who will scratch and claw for every yard in McCaskill, Kavosiey Smoke and Anthony Hankerson. It's worth noting that despite his stature, Charlie Offerdahl also fits this bill. Those three backs all could provide short yardage and goal-line duties for Colorado's running game but the Houston native is clearly different.
How does McCaskill change things on offense for Colorado?
Let’s go back to November 23rd, 2001; a day Buff Nation will never forget. The nation’s top-ranked team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers made the trip to Boulder to take on the 15th-ranked Colorado Buffaloes. The Buffs were in the midst of a 10-year losing streak against the hated Cornhuskers with their last win coming in 1990 when Colorado became National Champions.…
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.…...
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.
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…
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…
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…
After the Buffs lost their best offensive player in Jordyn Tyson, Colorado faces a double whammy as they are on a short week and have to travel to Los Angeles to take on USC. Colorado is entering Friday night’s matchup as 34-point underdogs and even after last week’s blowout against Oregon, interim head coach Mike Sanford is doing well to…
Last Saturday against Oregon, Jordyn Tyson had the best game of his career until he went down with an injury in the fourth quarter. Colorado’s interim head coach, Mike Sanford, was not optimistic about Tyson’s injury in the post-game press conference after the Buffs’ loss to Oregon. In a Zoom conference with Buffs’ media on Sunday night, Sanford confirmed Buff…
The leaves are turning, the World Series is on TV and it’s getting colder. It must be November. For the Colorado Buffaloes, November brings on four opportunities for the Buffs to prove themselves against the PAC-12’s best. The Buffs’ focus is on Oregon this weekend but will face USC, Washington and Utah in that order this month. In last week’s…