In his first season in Boulder, Coach Prime is bringing his luggage, and it’s Louis, as promised.

Since Deion Sanders took over in December, Colorado’s 2023 transfer class has rocketed up the national rankings. The class has been ranked as high as No. 1 by 247Sports, and is currently No. 3, just behind Florida State and Auburn and ahead of Southern California.

Here’s a look at the top transfers Sanders has landed, including five blue-chips and 16 three-star players. The transfer portal opened for its first window Dec. 5 and closed Wednesday, and CU could see its roster change again when the next window runs from May 1-15.

These transfers are in addition to the noise that Coach Prime is making on the high school scene. On Thursday night, five-star recruit Cormani McClain — the top-rated cornerback in the Class of 2023 — flipped his commitment from Miami to the Buffs.

Five-Star

Travis Hunter

Position: CB/WR

Former School: Jackson St.

Class: Sophomore

Height/Weight: 6-1, 165

Scouting Report: The nation’s top-ranked transfer recruit in 2023 was a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award in 2022, given to the top freshman player in FCS football. At JSU he had 20 tackles, 10 pass breakups and two interceptions, plus 18 receptions for 188 yards and four TDs. A speedy ballhawk with elite instincts at cornerback, he also has the ability to pop off for explosive plays on offense at any moment.

Roster Projection: Starting cornerback, contributor at receiver.

Four-Star

Jimmy Horn Jr.

Position: Receiver

Former School: Southern Florida

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5-10, 175

Scouting Report: The son of Joe Horn (former Pro Bowl cornerback for the Saints) and brother of Jaycee Horn (Carolina’s 2021 first-round pick), Jimmy Horn Jr. has an NFL pedigree. He came into his own over two seasons at USF, with 67 receptions for 959 yards and four TDs across 23 games. In 2022 he had four games with 100-plus all-purpose yards, and was a first-team All-AAC returner.

Roster Projection: Starting receiver, returner.

Shedeur Sanders

Position: Quarterback

Former School: Jackson St.

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6-2, 215

Scouting Report: Coach Prime’s son was 23-3 as JSU’s QB over the past two seasons, including a 16-0 mark in the SWAC. During that time he was 616-of-901 passing for 6,983 yards, 70 TDs and 14 interceptions. In 2022, he was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player in FCS football.

Roster Projection: Starting quarterback.

Seydou Traore

Position: Tight end

Former School: Arkansas State

Height/Weight: 6-4, 210

Class: Junior

Scouting Report: One of the highest-rated transfers in the portal, Traore was a first-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection last year with 50 catches for 655 yards and four TDs. He led the conference’s tight ends in receptions and yards. The London native is a former soccer goalie who hadn’t played 11-man football until arriving in the U.S. a few years ago, so he’s raw, but his upside is huge.

Roster Projection: Starting tight end.

Yousef Mugharbil

Position: Interior offensive line

Former School: Florida

Height/Weight: 6-5, 315

Class: Sophomore

Scouting Report: Mugharbil redshirted with the Gators in 2021, overcoming a car crash that saw the scooter he was driving collide with a semi-truck in Gainesville. Mugharbil didn’t see any action as a redshirt freshman last year. He was a four-star prospect coming out of high school in North Carolina. A solid run blocker who needs time to grow in pass pro.

Roster Projection: Competing for starting job at offensive guard.

Three-Star

Taijh Alston

Position: Edge

Former School: West Virginia

Height/Weight: 6-4, 255

Class: Graduate Student

Scouting Report: Alston’s taken the long road to Boulder, starting his career at East Carolina before transferring to Copiah Lincoln Community College and then to WVU. In 28 total games for the Mountaineers, Alston had 56 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, eight sacks and four forced fumbles.

Roster Projection: Competing for starting job at defensive end.

Tayvion Beasley

Position: Cornerback

Former School: Jackson St.

Height/Weight: 5-11, 170

Class: Sophomore

Scouting Report: In his one season at JSU, Beasley played in nine games. He had a pick in his first and last game, plus eight tackles, three pass break-ups and a fumble recovery overall. A former prep star at SoCal powerhouse St. John Bosco.

Roster Projection: Competing for starting job at cornerback.

Landon Bebee

Position: Interior offensive line

Former School: Missouri St.

Height/Weight: 6-3, 275

Class: Graduate Student

Scouting Report: A three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection, he was a team captain in 2021 and ’22, and started all 11 games at left tackle last year. A three-star prospect out of high school in Missouri who is growing into his own at tackle but could also play inside.

Roster Projection: Competing for starting job on interior offensive line.

Vonta Bentley

Position: Linebacker

Former School: Clemson

Height/Weight: 6-0, 235

Class: Junior

Scouting Report: Bentley played in 40 games for Clemson from 2019-22, with two starts. He totaled 73 tackles, 11.5 for loss, with 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. A physical linebacker who is strong in stuffing the run.

Roster Projection: Competing for starting job at inside linebacker.

Kyndrich Breedlove

Position: Cornerback

Former School: Ole Miss

Height/Weight: 5-11, 180

Class: Sophomore

Scouting Report: Breedlove was a four-star recruit coming out of high school in Nashville but was relatively quiet over his first couple seasons at Arkansas. As a true freshman in 2021, he played mostly special teams, and suffered a wrist injury in ’22 and was redshirted.

Roster Projection: Competing for time at cornerback.

Jeremiah Brown

Position: Outside linebacker

Former School: Jackson St.

Height/Weight: 6-2, 220

Class: Junior

Scouting Report: Brown played inside linebacker his first year at JSU before transitioning to the edge last year, when he had 47 totals tackles, 10 tackles for loss, six sacks and two forced fumbles. Athletic, with lots of upside at the position.

Roster Projection: Competing for starting job at outside linebacker.

Shane Cokes

Position: Defensive line

Former School: Dartmouth

Height/Weight: 6-3, 275

Class: Junior

Scouting Report: Cokes spent 2019 on the scout team at Dartmouth and then saw the 2020 Ivy League season canceled. But he made the last couple of seasons count, emerging as a force in 20 starts with 87 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.

Roster Projection: Starter on the defensive line.

Jordan Domineck

Position: Defensive End

Former School: Arkansas

Height/Weight: 6-3, 251

Class: Senior

Scouting Report: After spending his first three seasons playing at Georgia Tech, the edge rusher was productive in his one season at Arkansas last year, finishing third in the SEC with 7.5 sacks. He also had 9.5 tackles for loss. Physical, quick and hard to block off the edge.

Roster Projection: Starting defensive end.

Isaiah Jatta

Position: Offensive tackle

Former School: Snow College

Height/Weight: 6-6, 310

Class: Junior

Scouting Report: One of the top JuCo recruits in the nation, Jatta was a NJCAA first-team All-American last year. He also started as a freshman. The competition in Division I will be a big step up, but once Jatta conquers the learning curve, he has the talent to flourish.

Roster Projection: Starting right or left tackle.

Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig

Position: Safety

Former School: Jackson St.

Height/Weight: 5-10, 175

Class: Junior

Scouting Report: A two-year starter in the JSU secondary, Silmon-Craig finished with 111 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four sacks, five interceptions and 11 pass breakups. He plays bigger than his size. And he was first-team All-SWAC last year.

Roster Projection: Competing for starting safety spot.

Myles Slusher

Position: Safety

Former School: Arkansas

Height/Weight: 6-0, 194

Class: Senior

Scouting Report: A key addition to the CU secondary alongside Hunter, Slusher originally committed to Louisville in the transfer portal before flipping to the Buffs. He appeared in 23 games (15 starts) for Arkansas over three years, with 93 tackles and two interceptions.

Roster Projection: Starting safety.

Kavosiey Smoke

Position: Running back

Former School: Kentucky

Height/Weight: 5-9, 209

Class: Senior

Scouting Report: A four-year letterman with the Wildcats, Smoke is now CU’s most experienced tailback on the roster and figures to replace Alex Fontenot as the featured back. Over five seasons at UK, Smoke had 292 carries for 1,583 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Roster Projection: Starting running back.

Taylor Upshaw

Position: Edge

Former School: Michigan

Height/Weight: 6-4, 255

Class: Graduate Student

Scouting Report: Upshaw appeared in 37 games of the Wolverines over the pas four years, with 10.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He was mostly a reserve player on the defensive line, registering just two starts, but has the frame and athleticism to do more in Boulder.

Roster Projection: Competing for starting job at defensive end.

Mark Vassett

Position: Punter

Former School: Louisville

Height/Weight: 6-4, 220

Class: Junior

Scouting Report: The native of Melbourne, Australia, punted 100 times for the Cardinals over the past two seasons, with an average of 43.3 yards. Sixteen of his kicks were 50 yards or more, and 36 were pinned inside the 20. He has the leg; the elevation should help.

Roster Projection: Competing for starting job at punter.

Savion Washington

Position: Offensive tackle

Former School: Kent St.

Height/Weight: 6-8, 320

Class: Sophomore

Scouting Report: A three-star prospect coming out of high school in Ohio, Washington played in one game in his first two years at KSU. But he broke out last year, starting all 11 games at right tackle and allowing only three sacks. Experience and size CU needs up front.

Roster Projection: Starting right or left tackle.

Jack Wilty

Position: Offensive tackle

Former School: Iowa Central Community College

Height/Weight: 6-4, 310

Class: Sophomore

Scouting Report: After starting his career at Northern Illinois, Wilty transferred to Iowa Central, where he had a breakout season in 2022. He was first-time all-conference and a second-team NJCAA all-American selection while playing in eight games.

Roster Projection: Competing for time at right or left tackle.

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