A glowing issue throughout this past season was the play from the trenches on the offensive side of the ball. Starting quarterback Shedeur Sanders was sacked 52 times; the most in his career and in all of college football in the 2023 season. When the Buffs played UCLA, the play got so bad Coach Prime had to call out his guys.
“The big picture, you get new linemen,” he stated in the post-game interview. “…that’s the picture, and I’m gonna paint it perfectly.”
We all know Coach Prime is a hawk when it comes to off-season recruiting. Whether it is acquiring players through the transfer portal or bringing in prospects fresh out of high school, he knows how to improve the flaws of whatever roster he previously had. Honestly, it’s easy to see why the recruits buy into Coach Prime’s pitch. Who wouldn’t want to play for the greatest cornerback in history while simultaneously getting a world-class education on one of the country’s most beautiful campuses? The transfer portal has had record-level busyness early in this off-season, and during this short span it has been open, we’ve seen five offensive linemen clinch that exact deal and become Colorado Buffaloes.
Justin Mayers – Transfer from UTEP
After having a stellar two-year career as a UTEP Miner that included an All-Conference USA Honorable Mention this past year, Mayers decided it was time to venture elsewhere. Once he entered his name into the portal, he was immediately labelled as one of the top prospects to grab, receiving multiple D1 offers from highly touted schools. Places like Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Texas Tech extended offers to Mayers, but he ultimately decided on CU after his official visit on Saturday. The 310-pound guard who stands at six-feet-three-inches tall should be a favorite to start on new offensive line coach Phil Loadholt’s unit.
Tyler Johnson – Transfer from Houston
Tyler Johnson will be coming to Boulder after being a Houston Cougar for two years, where he was on the Third-Team All-American Athletic Conference team his first year there. He started at offensive guard for the Cougars this past year, amassing 700 snaps on 12 games played. After placing his name into the transfer on Thursday of this past week, he was quick to make his decision to join the Buffs on Saturday, but not before being offered from three other schools. With his Great Wall of China-esque six-foot-five and 320-pound frame, Johnson adds extra insurance to the interior of the offensive trenches, which will hopefully open up more holes for the running game.
Yakiri Walker – Transfer from UConn
Hours before Johnson’s commitment was the commitment of Yakiri Walker, a transfer from the University of Connecticut who plays center. Walker was ranked as the 16th best interior lineman the portal had to offer according to On3. With a keen understanding of defensive schemes, effective communication with teammates, and enduring physical stamina, the center is a mainstay on the offensive line, and a strong presence from this position was missed last year. He has experience everywhere on the offensive line but became the Huskies’ starting center this past year, and he received an overall grade of 65.5 from Pro Football Focus.
Jordan Seaton – 5-star+ Incoming Freshman from IMG Academy
Seaton will be the most crucial piece to the rebuilding of the Buffalo offensive line. Following a rough final stretch to Coach Prime’s first season and several decommits/transfer portal departures, Seaton’s arrival has rejuvenated the Colorado faithful. With a 5-star+ (.9940 out of 1) rating, he comes in as Colorado’s highest-rated recruit in school history. He is ranked as the 12th-best player in his class, the fourth-best Floridian player, and the best offensive lineman in the country. The tackle stands at six-foot-six and weighs in at 287 pounds, making him a literal anchor for this offensive line. As mentioned before, Shedeur Sanders took the most sacks in the country; during his interview on Undisputed, where he announced his commitment, that stat was brought up. Seaton’s answer to that dilemma was simple. He said confidently, “That will never happen again. Simple.”
.@JordanSeaton_ has a message for top recruits around the country 👀
"You claim you're a dog, why you not coming to Colorado?!" pic.twitter.com/ju3PoHNsd7
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) December 7, 2023
Kahlil Benson – Transfer from Indiana
Junior offensive tackle Kahlil Benson will become a Buffalo after years as an Indiana Hoosier. The Mississippi native stands at six-feet-six-inches tall and weighs 332 pounds. He brings tons of much-needed experience to this offensive line, as he played in every game last year, allowing only one sack as a bonus. For a team that ranked 132nd out of 133 in the sacks category and completely last in the country in rushing yards, his presence will surely create more time for offensive action.
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