Colorado expected to lose key recruiter from staff

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Colorado expected to lose key recruiter from staff

Colorado defensive ends coach Nick Williams is expected to leave the Buffaloes for a new coaching position, a program source said. Williams’ departure marks the third assistant to leave head coach Deion Sanders’ staff since Colorado’s season ended on Nov. 25. Tight ends coach Tim Brewster, who followed Sanders to Colorado from Jackson State and was demoted to an off-field role to make room for the in-season promotion of analyst Pat Shurmur, resigned last Sunday. Offensive coordinator Sean Lewis, who left a head coaching job at Kent State to join Sanders at Colorado in 2023 but was stripped of play-calling duties in October, was officially announced as the head coach of San Diego State on Wednesday.

The staff changes kick off what is likely to be a busy, tumultuous offseason for Sanders and Colorado, who were the hottest team in college football following a 3-0 start before losing eight of its last nine to finish last in the Pac-12. The Buffs have also seen a flurry of recruiting decommitments in recent weeks as questions about Sanders’ recruiting approach have increased, and a pair of starting offensive linemen — left tackle Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan and center Van Wells — have announced intentions to enter the transfer portal. Linebacker Marvin Ham II and tight end Caleb Fauria also announced plans to enter the portal; that’s hardly an eyebrow-raising number in the portal era, but all four are scholarship players Sanders inherited when he was hired to Colorado.

Sanders famously added 69 new scholarship athletes to the 2023 roster out of a total of 85, including 57 who were brought in after spring practice. Offensive and defensive lines were widely considered the weakest positions on Colorado’s roster and the root of the team’s struggles down the stretch.

The offseason transition is not unexpected. Following the Buffs’ season-ending loss to Utah, Sanders said there would be “a few” changes to his staff and has spoken openly in recent weeks about intending to upgrade the roster via the portal.

“Everything you see that we have a lack thereof or deficit, we’re going to fill that need,” Sanders said, adding that “a plethora” of those additions would be transfers.

Colorado has nine commitments in the 2024 class, currently ranked 65th in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite; 2024 prospects can sign letters of intent with schools later this month. The Buffs have no commits in the 2025 class. The loss of Williams could have a significant impact on that front as well. The former assistant for Georgia and Texas A&M and former player for the Bulldogs was listed as the primary recruiter for five of the nine 2024 commitments, including four of the top five according to their 247Sports Composite grades.

The transfer portal window officially opens this Monday, Dec. 4.

“Trust me, there’s not a day that goes by that kids aren’t blowing our recruiting staff up,” Sanders said recently. “They’re calling and we’re responding.”

(Photo of Sanders: Ron Chenoy / USA Today)