Big 12 News

Deion Sanders Says Colorado Has ‘The Next Brian Urlacher’

Oct 7, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders walks the sidelines as his team takes on the ASU Sun Devils at Mountain America Stadium.

LAS VEGAS — The college football world pays attention to Colorado football because of coach Deion Sanders and his kids, quarterback Shedeur and Shilo Sanders.

But he spent a minute on Wednesday talking about a player that believes as great importance to the Buffs’ season and should have NFL aspirations — linebacker Trevor Woods.

In fact, Sanders compared Woods to a fellow NFL Hall of Famer at Big 12 Media Days.


“I really think that young man is going to be the next Brian Urlacher,” Sanders said, referencing the New Mexico legend who went on to play for the Chicago Bears.

Woods, a fourth-year Colorado player, had a solid year in 2023 as he amassed 56 tackles, the third most on the team.

Before that, Woods had 84 tackles in 10 games before Sanders took over as coach. With new defensive coordinator Robert Livingston on board, Sanders expects him to get the most out of Woods. His scheme emphasizes pressure and turnovers. Plus, the position change should benefit Woods.

“I think he’s going to take the transition from safety to linebacker and be dominant,” Sanders said.

Colorado is one of four Pac-12 schools moving to the Big 12 in August. Arizona, Arizona, and Utah are also on the move. Colorado joined the Pac-12 in 2012, but before that, it was a member of the Big 12 and the Big 8.  

The Buffaloes went 4-8 and 1-8 in Pac-12 play a year ago under coach Deion Sanders, who took over the Buffs after a successful three-year run with Jackson State. The Pro Football and College Football Hall of Famer is trying to turn Colorado back into a winning program.


In his second year, he’ll lean hard on his son, quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who threw for 3,230 yards with 27 touchdowns and just three interceptions. The Buffs return two of their top receivers in Travis Hunter and Jimmy Horn Jr. But Colorado must rebuild its offensive line for the second straight season.

Hunter is also a star at cornerback. He started his college career at JSU under Sanders, and the former five-star recruit is likely the best two-way player in the country. He anchors a defense that should return six starters, including safety Shilo Sanders. But the unit needs big improvement.

FCS power North Dakota State faces Colorado in Boulder to open the season on Aug. 29. The Buffs renew their Big 8 rivalry at Nebraska on Sept. 7, followed by a trip to Colorado State on Sept. 14.    

The Buffs’ return to the Big 12 starts at home against Baylor on Sept. 21, followed by a trip to UCF on Sept. 28.

Kansas State travels to face Colorado on Oct. 12, and then the Buffs head to Arizona on Oct. 19 before hosting Cincinnati on Oct. 26.

Colorado starts the home stretch with a road trip to Texas Tech on Nov. 9, followed by a home game with Utah on Nov. 16. Then, after traveling to Kansas on Nov. 23 and then hosts Oklahoma State to end the regular season on Nov. 30.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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