With a plethora of holdover players at Colorado heading for the transfer portal, Montana Lemonious-Craig isn’t scared of staying and competing for his spot.
The Buffs’ standout wide receiver came into Boulder during a transition year in 2020, which ended in defeat at the Alamo Bowl. A taste of success now feels like a different time for MLC and the rest of the team as Deion Sanders takes over looking to renew the image of a program lost in the past. Quite a tall task, but one needed for survival with the future of NIL now active in college athletics.
Sanders is who CU needed, and he came at the right time. His culture demands peak performance at all times, from the coaches and the players alike. It’s a culture the players are starting to buy into as well.
“The vibes are electric and there’s a lot of energy and excitement around the program,” Lemonious-Craig said. “Coach is a great guy and cares about his players.”
Sanders shocked many with his opening statement at CU. But those who were listening were able to take away a lot of useful information as he opened up about his expectations. It’s something that hasn’t happened in Boulder for decades.
“All you want is the opportunity to win, to compete, to dominate, to be amongst the elite, to be amongst the best, and darn it, I’m going to give you that,” Sanders said. “We’re going to outwork them, we’re going to out-recruit them, we’re going to out-scout, we’re going to out-develop, we’re going to get our education, we’re going to graduate these young men.”
Some of the media reports after Sanders met with players said they were intimidated by him. While this wasn’t true, according to Lemonious-Craig, he was very clear that Coach Prime set objectives for the team. And after a one-win season, the group is ready for what’s coming next.
“We’re very hungry. Also, no one was scared when we met with Coach. He’s just giving the team what’s real,” Lemonious-Craig said. “Either you are going to work, or you are going to find a new home. I want dogs in Boulder and I’m ready to get to work.”
Prime also mentioned who’ll likely be starting under center for the Buffs next year. One piece of “luggage” coming with him is Sheduer Sanders, who transitions from Jackson State with his father. Fox Sports’ 2023 too-early Heisman candidate leaves JSU after throwing for 6,414 yards and 66 TDs to 14 INTs over the past two years. Needless to say, Sheduer can air it out and will turn heads early.
“Shedeur can spin it and I’m ready to get to work with him. He’s playing at a high level,” Lemonious-Craig said.
Get ready to hear “Sanders to Lemonious-Craig” often over the next year. Both of them will be coming into next season with a different mindset from years past. For Sanders, the JSU years prepared him for this moment to be the starter at a major program. The same can be said for MLC, which developed under Dorrell’s staff and now has a better opportunity under Prime at the right time.