18 Buffs into portal in post-spring practice exodus

Eighteen Colorado players entered the transfer portal Monday as part of a post-spring practice exodus, as new coach Deion Sanders continues to reshape the Buffaloes’ roster.

Sanders, who told players to “hop in that portal” at his first team meeting after being hired in early December, has been open about his plans to upgrade the team’s talent level following a 1-11 season in 2022. Colorado spent most of the first transfer portal window adding notable players, including several who followed Sanders from Jackson State — his son, quarterback Shedeur Sanders, and defensive back/wide receiver Travis Hunter among them — and others such as tight end Seydou Traore (Arkansas State), edge rusher Jordan Domineck (Arkansas) and linebacker Demouy Kennedy (Alabama).

Although Colorado lost several players to the portal before spring practice, Monday saw a significant group depart, including wide receivers Jordyn Tyson and Montana Lemonious-Craig, who led the team in receptions and receiving yards, respectively, in 2022. Lemonious-Craig starred in Saturday’s spring game, recording 168 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He had 34 career receptions for 497 yards and five touchdowns in three seasons. Running back Deion Smith, Colorado’s leading rusher with 393 yards on 83 carries, also entered the portal Monday.

Other notable departures include safety Tyrin Taylor, who made nine career starts with Colorado, including seven last season, and had 39 career tackles with two pass breakups and an interception. Colorado also saw cornerback Jason Oliver and linebacker Aubrey Smith enter the portal Monday.

Thirteen Colorado players entered the portal last week, including starting cornerback Nikko Reed, defenders Simeon Harris and Na’im Rodman, and running back Jayle Stacks. Reed had 44 tackles last season.

Since April 15, the Buffaloes have had 31 players enter the portal.

“You all know that we’re going to move on from some of the team members and we’re going to reload and get some kids that we really identify with,” Sanders said after Saturday’s spring game. “This process is going to be quick, it’s going to be fast, but we’re going to get it done.”

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