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The Colorado Buffaloes HC, Deion Sanders, is making strategic moves to protect his team’s two key assets, Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter. After the Black and Gold scrimmage on scrimmage on April 27, Coach Prime promised “We got four more corners coming.” Well, on Monday, the Buffs landed second of those four corners, joining Colton Hood, who arrived from Auburn.

After a four-year stint at Furman, Ian Yates is set to make Boulder his second home. This news is a relief for the Buffs, especially after the unexpected departure of cornerback Cormani McClain. This move provides competition and depth for the cornerback position and also reminds us of a similar move by the Buffs in the offensive position around Dylan Edwards.

Sanders’ secret plan to bring out Hunter’s potential

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The Buffaloes desperately needed additional players in the secondary, and Yates has been brought in to fill that gap. The Buffs have lost six players in the secondary since last month, hence his addition bodes well for the program. 

The 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback played in all 13 games last season, accumulating 40 tackles (including one for loss) and five pass deflections. The Buffs have relied on Preston Hodge, Travis Hunter, and DJ McKinney at corner this spring, and now Yates’s arrival gives them more experience in that position.

During his four seasons at Furman, Yates appeared in 37 games, with 15 starts, posting 93 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one interception and 13 passes defended. Yates played in all seven games as a reserve for Furman during the pandemic-delayed 2020 season. In the fall of 2021, he was a starter for the first four games, posting 13 tackles, before a finger injury caused him to miss the rest of the season.

Yates entered the transfer portal during the last window period on December 14 and now has a new home with an ambitious program. Sanders has added Yates to the team as part of a bigger plan.

He aimed to create a strong rotation going into the next season and channel the focus on the Buffs’ two-way phenom, Travis Hunter. Expectations are already high from Hunter, who excels on both sides. As Coach Prime stated, “Travis is a special player, a generational player, who has changed the game…” Sanders played receiver and cornerback and nurtured Travis Hunter to shine at both spots as well.

Getting the best out of Hunter will be the key to the Buffs season and Coach Prime understands that.

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It seems he has serious competition now that Yates has arrived at his best form. Coach Prime will also hope that Yates, and push Hunter to higher standards, something he had hoped to happen with Dylan Edwards.

Edwards’ abrupt exit right after Sanders’ master move

This transfer portal has hit Colorado with back-to-back losses. The defense was left struggling after the departure of DB Cormani McClain and another transfer that will continue to cause pain to the Buffs HC for a long time is Edwards. Sanders focused on building the roster and added former Ohio State Buckeyes RB Dallan Hayden; shortly after, Edwards decided to try his luck somewhere outside Colorado. 

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The surprising part is that Edwards did not give any hint about his forthcoming departure. Instead of badmouthing the coach, even four to five days before his departure, he participated in Coach Prime’s speech, assuring him of his loyalty to the program. Uncle Neely took up the reason behind Edwards’ abrupt farewell from the Buffs as he pointed out, “It is no coincidence to me that when Coach Prime said Charlie Offerdahl was going to be No. 2, and then we signed a running back from Ohio State, two guys leave.”

Hence, to add a touch of positive competition within the program, Sanders said Hayden with the thought that it would motivate Edwards to prosper in the running back’s position. The situation seems to repeat as Sanders landed another CB, Yates, beside the presence of Hunter. Will this prompt Hunter to follow in Edward’s footsteps or will he rise to the occasion? Do share your thoughts in the comment section.