Colorado enjoyed what was considered a wildly successful spring game this past weekend under first-year coach Deion Sanders, but despite that, the Buffaloes roster is poised to look massively different by the time fall rolls around. On Monday, a slew of players hit the transfer portal with the exodus including everyone from star players in 2022 to once-promising prospects who are now looking for new homes away from the Coach Prime era in Boulder. More players followed the Monday departures on Tuesday.
Wide receiver Montana Lemonious-Craig is one of the highest-profile players to make the decision to leave Boulder. The junior made waves on Saturday by catching three passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns during the first spring game for coach Deion Sanders. One of those passes was a 98-yard score from transfer quarterback Shedeur Sanders. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Inglewood, California, was the Buffaloes second-leading receiver last season with 23 catches for 359 yards and three touchdowns.
Fellow wide receiver Jordyn Tyson also announced Monday that he is hitting the portal after a successful first season in Boulder. Tyson finished last season as the top receiver on the roster with 470 yards on 22 receptions after joining the program from Allen (Texas) High School.
Deion Smith, last season's top running back, also entered the portal on Monday. The 6-foot, 190-pound senior led the team with 393 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns last season. He had 653 yards rushing and four rushing touchdowns during his four seasons with the Buffaloes.
Here's a look at the players who have entered the portal so far, according to the 247Sports transfer portal tracker:
- OL Jackson Anderson: A 6-foot-4, 295-pounder from Mineola, Texas, Anderson redshirted in 2021 and wasn't a contributor in 2022. He was a three-star prospect in the Class of 2021.
- DL Aaron Austin: The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder was a three star prospect in the Class of 2022 out of Fort Worth, Texas.
- DB Tayvion Beasley: Beasley originally signed with Sanders in 2022 when Sanders was the head coach at Jackson State. He transferred to Colorado in December 2022 after notching eight tackles and two interceptions in nine games for the Tigers.
- DB Nigel Bethel Jr.: A three-star prospect in the Class of 2018 and a transfer from Miami, Bethel had three tackles in seven games in 2022.
- LB Shakaun Bowser: The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder from Queen Creek, Arizona, didn't record any stats last year. He was a three-star prospect in the Class of 2022.
- QB Drew Carter: The 6-foot-3 sophomore appeared in six games in 2021 and was the last remaining quarterback from last year's roster.
- OL Luke Eckardt: The former three-star prospect began his collegiate career at Arizona before transferring to the Buffaloes.
- LB Devin Grant: The 6-foot-3, 260-pound sophomore has played in 15 games and started two during his three seasons with the program. He had 14 tackles and two tackles for loss in 2022 and was expected to contend for playing time in 2023.
- OL Travis Gray: The former three-star prospect in the 2022 class was the No. 8 player in the state of Colorado.
- LB Nathan Hallmark: The freshman from Fort Collins, Colorado, had just completed his first spring with the program and will have four years of eligibility remaining.
- OL Alex Harkey: The 6-foot-6, 305-pounder played one season at Colorado after transferring from Tyler (Texas) Junior College.
- WR Montana Lemonious-Craig: The superstar from the spring game is one of the highest-profile departures from the roster. He is already receiving offers from FBS programs according to his Twitter account.
- DB Jeremy Mack Jr: The 6-foot junior was a junior college transfer from East Mississippi CC who had 48 tackles last season with four starts.
- DL Mason Maddox: The sophomore walk-on was a former two-star recruit and did not appear in any games during his time with the program.
- LB Zion Magalei: The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder from Chandler (Arizona) High School had one tackle in six games in 2022.
- OL Yousef Mugharbil: A one-time four-star prospect, the former Florida Gator has entered the portal for the second time and will be looking for his third collegiate destination.
- CB Jason Oliver Jr: The rising sophomore defensive back had 11 tackles in 2022 -- mostly as a reserve and on special teams. The 6-foot, 175-pounder wasn't expected to see much action in 2023.
- WR Grant Page: A 6-foot-3, 200-pound rising redshirt freshman who was an option for rotational snaps. He played in two games in 2022.
- WR Ty Robinson: The junior entered the transfer portal after catching nine passes for for 95 yards and a touchdown over his career.
- DL Na'im Rodman: The senior played in 38 career games with 17 starts.
- DB Oakie Salave'a: Salave'a is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound rising redshirt freshman came to Colorado as a three-star athlete in the Class of 2022. He did not record any stats as a true freshman.
- DL Jalen Sami: Starting 36 games across his Colorado career, including all 12 in the 2022 season, Sami is the most experienced player of the bunch. He enters the portal as a grad transfer.
- LB Aubrey Smith: Smith had eight tackles and one sack as a true freshman. He was a three-star prospect in the Class of Buford (Georgia) High School.
- DB Xavier Smith: The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder from metro Atlanta signed as a three-star prospect in the Class of 2022. The speedster was the Georgia Region 4-AAAAAA Player of The Year in 2021.
- RB Deion Smith: Smith was a three-star prospect in the Class of 2018 out of Houston.
- WR Chase Sowell: Sowell entered the portal on Saturday. The rising redshirt freshman had two catches for 23 yards in three games last year, and was expected to contend for playing time in 2023.
- DB Tyrin Taylor: The rising junior had 26 tackles and one interception last season. He was expected to contend for playing time as a starter for the Buffaloes prior to entering the portal.
- TE Saydou Traore: Beginning his career at Arkansas State as a three-star prospect in the 2021 class, Traore announced his transfer to Colorado on Christmas Day 2022. Now he's back in the portal after one spring with the Buffaloes.
- WR Jordyn Tyson: The leading receiver from last season was a three-star prospect prior to his success with the Buffaloes in 2022.
- DE Taylor Upshaw: The grad transfer from Michigan appeared in 37 games with two starts for the Wolverines before transferring to Colorado in the offseason.
- RB Victor Venn: A three-star member of the Buffs' 2022 class, Venn didn't record any stats a season ago but had some breakout moments during the team's spring game.
- OL Jake Wiley: The 6-foot-6, 310-pound junior appeared in 30 games with 22 starts at tackle.
- LB Mister Williams: The 6-foot, 250-pounder rising redshirt sophomore from Westlake Village, California, notched nine tackles and one pass breakup in eight games in 2022.
- DB Jordan Wolverton: An unrated quarterback prospect in the 2021 class, Wolverton was converted to the defensive backfield after his arrival to Boulder.