The Neon Deion effect has already started at Colorado.
Just one day after Deion Sanders left Jackson State to become the head coach at the University of Colorado, the Buffaloes landed five-star recruit Winston Watkins.
The wide receiver, the first cousin of Packers wide receiver Sammy Watkins, committed to the class of 2025 in Boulder on Sunday.
Watkins, 5-foot-10 and 172 pounds, plays for IMG Academy in Florida, a magnet school that has produced talent such as Evan Neal, Greg Newsome, and KJ Hamler. He’s ranked No. 4 among wide receivers in his class by 247Sports and No. 13 overall.
Watkins had offers from 17 other programs, including Texas A&M, the favorite to land him.
The Watkins commit puts Colorado at the top of the 2025 rankings, but Sanders inherited the 61st-ranked recruiting class for 2023 and currently, the Buffaloes have no commits for 2024.
Sanders, however, is planning to bring over many of his former players from Jackson State and has already advised current Colorado players to enter the transfer portal. Sanders’ son Shedeur, a quarterback for the Tigers, is expected to enter the portal to land in Colorado.
According to a report from Josh Newberg at on3, Colorado has had over 200 recruits reach out since Sanders was hired, including many four and five-star recruits. He’ll need to bring in a number of them. Colorado went 1-11 this season with its only win coming against Cal and has had only one winning season, 2016, in a full season of play since 2006.