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National Signing Day Recap: Who did Coach Prime land in the transfer portal?

Coach Prime spent the last week plundering the transfer portal.

Oregon State v Colorado Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Coach Prime and the Colorado Buffaloes have been on a recruiting tear these last seven days. Just when you thought that it was finally safe to log off twitter for the evening, another massive recruit would announce their commitment. All-in-all, a whopping nine recruits announced that they’d be transferring to Colorado in the last seven days. Last week was so hectic that it was extremely difficult to keep up with all the news and important transfers.

Even you think you’re fully caught up, you may very well still be missing a transfer or two because things were so crazy and news was breaking so fast. Thankfully, I’m here to break down all the important news that occurred over the last seven days in one place to make it as easy as possible to get caught up.

WR Will Sheppard transferring from Vanderbilt

The Buffs started out last week with a bang, snagging top SEC receiver Will Sheppard from the portal. At Vandy, Sheppard finished the 2023 season with 684 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns. Those stats put him in the upper echelon of receivers in the country’s top conference, which is incredibly impressive due to the fact that he put up those numbers with a lowly 2-10 Vanderbilt team. Sheppard’s larger than average size and good body control are two of the biggest assets he’ll bring to Boulder next season. Expect to see Sheppard bullying smaller cornerbacks at Folsom Field in 2024.

Sheppard’s transfer is pivotal to the Buffs after Xavier Weaver played his final college snaps. Weaver was Colorado’s WR1 last season and Sheppard is the perfect man to fill into the hole that he left behind. Sheppard likely will be the Buffs’ top wide receiver next year and hopes to make an impact immediately.

Kentucky’s Keaten and Destin Wade transfer to Colorado

Just one day after Colorado landed Will Sheppard, two more SEC players announced that they’d be transferring to play for Coach Prime. Twin brothers Keaten and Destin Wade will move from Mark Stoops’ Kentucky team to come and play in Boulder in 2024.

Destin is a quarterback who redshirted with the Wildcats for the last two seasons. His only playtime at the college level came in Kentucky’s blowout loss to Iowa in the Music City Bowl in 2022, where he struggled against an elite Hawkeyes defense. Destin will now join Colorado’s quarterback room as one of the hopefuls looking to take over the starting roll after Shedeur Sanders’ impending departure to the NFL.

Keaten has shown immense promise at outside linebacker. In 26 games with Kentucky, the OLB has recorded 51 tackles and 2.5 sacks. This move bolsters Colorado’s linebackers room, which is need of depth after losing Jordan Domineck to the NFL Draft. Keaten will likely get his share of playtime for the Buffs next season, so remember his name. He very well could be a pivotal part of the defense.

LSU EDGE Quency Wiggins announces his transfer to Colorado

This begins the beginning of the most hectic transfer day we’ve likely seen in the history of Colorado football so far. LSU edge-rusher Quency Wiggins kicked off the day by announcing his commitment to the Buffs.

Colorado was in need of an edge-rusher after losing Derick McClendon to the NFL Draft and Wiggins will likely be the person to fill in for him. Wiggins didn’t see the field much during his two years in Baton Rouge, but has shown promise when given playtime. The edge-rusher hailing for Louisiana needs some more room to develop his skills and made the call to take his talents to Boulder. Wiggins should be a great fit in Charles Kelly’s schemes in 2024 due to his seven-foot wingspan and positional versatility. The potential of Wiggins is sky-high and it’ll be up to the Buffs’ coaching staff to unlock it.

WR Cordale Russell transfers in from TCU

Just an hour or so after Wiggins announced his commitment, the Buffs grabbed another big-time receiver from the portal. This time, it would be TCU’s Cordale Russell, who announced his transfer to Colorado.

Russell played in three games with the Horned Frog as a true freshman last season, but didn’t record any stats. The wide receiver from Texas brings is bringing his impressive size and length to Boulder in 2024. After the departure of Javon Antonio, the Buffs needed another big-bodied receiver to regain some of the physicality they lost. Russell is a good fit for that, as his 6 foot 4, 210 pound frame will allow him to rough up defenders downfield. Russell adds even more depth to Colorado’s stacked receiver room, which is always a plus. They’ll be no shortage of talented pass-catchers in Boulder next season.

Alabama DL Anquin Barnes announces transfers from Alabama

Only two hours after landing Russell, the Buffs landed a massive (literally) asset on the defensive side of the ball. Alabama defensive lineman Anquin Barnes announced that he’ll be a Buffalo next season. Barnes is gigantic at 6’4 and 320 pounds. Colorado’s defensive line was relatively small last season and the addition of Barnes adds some much needed size to the rotation.

After arriving at Alabama in 2021, Barnes didn’t play much. He’ll now be reuniting with former Tide assistant defensive coordinator Charles Kelly, who is now the Buffs DC. Perhaps Kelly can get the most of Barnes, which is exactly what the Buffs need in 2024 to accomplish their goals.

Vanderbilt QB Walter Taylor commits to Colorado

The Buffs capped with their eventful recruiting day by bagging their fourth transfer, this time being Vanderbilt quarterback Walter Taylor. Taylor must have been inspired by Will Sheppard’s decision to come to Boulder, as the QB decided to commit just three days later.

Taylor’s biggest asset that he brings is his unprecedented size. The quarterback from Alabama sits at 6 foot 7 and 210 pounds, making him one of the biggest QBs in all of college football. Last season at Vanderbilt, Taylor struggled in the few games he played. However, Taylor’s sheer size make him a prime candidate to succeed Shedeur after 2024. We very well could see Taylor in third-and-short situations to try to pick up a couple easy yards next season, which will help make Shedder’s life much easier. Colorado’s QB room is now loaded with talent and ready for the future.

Houston DL Chidozie Nwankwo transfers to CU

One day after the Buffs bagged four important commitments, Deion landed yet another piece for the defense. Houston’s Chidozie Nwankwo announced his transfer to Colorado for 2024.

Houston’s program is in a transition period, as they just fired former head coach Dana Holgorsen and subsequently gave the reigns of the program over to Tulane coach Willie Fritz. There’s been a mass exodus of Cougars into the portal and Colorado snagged a couple, including Nwankwo.

Nwankwo, nicked “the Block Bully”, adds even more experience to the Buffs defensive line. The DL played in 41 games with Houston, netting 95 tackles and 5 sacks. Nwankwo will immediately be thrown into the Buffs rotation up front and we’ll be seeing a lot of him next season.

Pitt DE Samuel Okunlola surprise commits to Colorado

Deion and his capped off the week by picking up Pitt defensive end Samuel Okunlola, who nobody else saw coming. Okunlola took a secret visit to Boulder over the weekend and committed to play here right afterwards. This announcement came as a very pleasant surprise and a perfect way to cap off an action-packed week of recruiting.

Okunlola is familiar with the Colorado football program, as Mel Tucker heavily recruited him out of high school during his sole season in Boulder. Karl Dorrell tried to get Okunlola to commit to play in Boulder, but the DE chose to take his talents to Pittsburgh.

Now that Coach Prime is in town, Okunlola has had a change of heart and wants to come play for CU after all. During his freshman season with the Panthers, Okunlola was productive on the field. He finished 2023 with 18 tackles and 5 sacks. Okunlola has demonstrated he has a knack for getting to the quarterback, which is something that the Buffs sorely need. The Buffs are now loaded with talent up front and ready to compete in 2024.

We’ve got nine new Buffs next season that will make an immediate impact on the program, which is extremely exciting. Colorado football looks like it’s ready to make a statement in 2024 and they’ll need all the help they can get to accomplish their goals of making the playoffs. This leaves one last order of business: welcoming the newcomers into the Colorado football family.

Welcome to Boulder, everyone!