Colorado Buffaloes Lineman Transfers Out, Deion Sanders Faces Challenge



by NOUMAN RASOOL

Colorado Buffaloes Lineman Transfers Out, Deion Sanders Faces Challenge
© Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Colorado Buffaloes, led by the charismatic Deion Sanders, find themselves navigating a challenging path in the college football offseason landscape. Following a less-than-stellar 4-8 season, the team has encountered further setbacks, notably losing two promising quarterback prospects for the 2024 and 2025 recruiting cycles.

This blow was compounded by the recent developments in the transfer portal, where starting offensive lineman Gerad Lichtenhan has opted to put his name forward, signaling a departure from the team. Lichtenhan's decision marks a significant change for the Buffaloes.

He has been a cornerstone of the team's offensive line, showcasing his skills over a four-year tenure. In 2023, Pro Football Focus highlighted him as the most experienced starter in the Buffaloes' offense. Despite the overall struggles of the offensive line, primarily attributed to a spate of injuries, Lichtenhan remained a consistent performer.

His departure, as a graduate transfer, is poised to bolster the line-up of whichever team secures his talents.

Buffaloes' Uncertain Future

The question that now looms large for the Buffaloes is: what comes next? As the team prepares to enter the Big 12, expectations are high, particularly with Sanders at the helm, who has dubbed the upcoming 2024 season as one of high hopes and anticipation.

However, the path to fulfilling these aspirations appears daunting. Sanders, no longer in his rookie coaching season, faces limitations on making extensive roster changes. Moreover, the initial allure of playing under 'Coach Prime' seems to be diminishing as the college football environment increasingly facilitates player movement, often motivated by potentially more lucrative Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals.

Despite these hurdles, Sanders and his coaching staff are not resting on their laurels. The offseason, still in its early stages, presents ample opportunities for strategic recruitment from the transfer portal. The Buffaloes' strategy in this regard could be pivotal in shaping the team's fortunes.

As the offseason progresses and the dust settles, it will be intriguing to see the transformed lineup and how well it aligns with the heightened expectations set for the upcoming season. Sanders, known for his resilience and strategic acumen, faces a formidable challenge, but the outcome could well redefine the Buffaloes' trajectory in college football's dynamic landscape.

Deion Sanders