Sources: Sanders preparing to take Colorado job

With Jackson State on the cusp of the SWAC title game on Saturday, sources told ESPN that coach Deion Sanders has been preparing his exit in order to take the head coaching job at Colorado.

Multiple sources told ESPN that Sanders and his associates have spent the week making calls to both potential members of the on-field coaching staff and support staff positions to join him in Boulder.

A source told ESPN on Friday night that Sanders’ outreach included a call to a prominent player in the NCAA transfer portal, encouraging him to not make a decision because Sanders was heading to Colorado and wanted to recruit him there.

Internally at Colorado, according to sources, the support staff has been seen preparing material for Sanders’ hire. There’s a widespread expectation in the building that Sanders will arrive there this weekend, although the staff has not been told formally.

“They’re not doing a great job of hiding this,” said a staff source. “If he backs out of this deal, it would be a huge problem for Colorado.”

Sanders has said publicly that he’s been offered the Colorado job. All signs point to him accepting it in the next 48 hours, as all the other candidates Colorado has engaged have been stalled after interviewing weeks ago.

Sanders has gone 26-5 his last three seasons at Jackson State and 22-2 the past two years. Jackson State plays Southern for the SWAC title on Saturday, and Sanders is expected to inform his team that he’s leaving soon after the game.

Jackson State (11-0) faces Southern on Saturday, a team they beat 35-0 earlier in the year. Sanders is in just his third season as a college football coach.

Colorado fired Karl Dorrell in October after an 0-5 start and an 8-15 record overall in three years as coach. Mike Sanford filled in as interim and went 1-6 to close the year.

Sanders is an iconic American athlete and a member of both the Pro Football and College Football Hall of Fame. He played in the NFL for 14 seasons, won two Super Bowls and also played for five different Major League Baseball teams from 1989 through 2001.

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