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49ers’ Kyle Shanahan, Fred Warner praise Deion Sanders for start at Colorado

Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 20, 2023 at 11:00 AM--

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The San Francisco 49ers have been a frontline story in the NFL two weeks in, starting off the season 2-0, showcasing their top units on both sides of the ball.

But, they're not the only ones showing out, and the NFL isn't the only football league in the spotlight right now.

Instead, you could argue that the most popular football team in the country isn't even in the NFL...

That moniker goes to the University of Colorado Buffaloes and new head coach Deion Sanders, who have flourished early in Year 1 of the new regime, finding themselves within the AP Top 25 for the third consecutive week.

Despite the difference in league, the 49ers are definitely paying attention to what Sanders is building at Colorado, so much so that the entire team was dialed into the late-night Colorado vs. Colorado State thriller last weekend the night before their bout against the Los Angeles Rams.

Shanahan praised Sanders for the work they've done, and more importantly, for just being fun to watch as a head coach and a leader.

"Yeah, [the ascension of Deion Sanders and Colorado] has been fun to watch," Shanahan said. "It's been really cool. You never know how it's going to work out with them just going there and the whole transfer rules and stuff, which I don't even understand. Hopefully I won't ever have to. You don't know how it's going to work, but he is just fun to watch. Just everyone being such a fan of him growing up and then how cool he is now."

Shanahan acknowledged that the first game for the Buffaloes this season was a huge selling point, seeing how hard Sanders got his team to play, which was a fun watch.

"But really what made it real was just watching their first game. That was the week before we started and I was actually just hanging out at the house and I got to watch them versus TCU and to watch how their team played was the coolest thing. Everyone knows how cool Deion is. But we always talk about the silent tape and how a team looks and to watch those dudes come out and battle and how hard they played and the confidence they had, that was what made it so fun to watch."

Shanahan has a connection to Colorado, having grown up there during part of his childhood while his father Mike Shanahan was the head coach of the Denver Broncos, with several close members of his circle having attended the university, including his wife.

While he is a Texas Longhorn through and through, Shanahan admitted that what Sanders has done at Colorado has been very impressive, joking that it's making people really start to like the Buffaloes now.

"I'm from Colorado, my wife went there, best man at my wedding went there. I'm not a big fan of there," Shanahan said. I'm a Longhorn. But they're actually making some of us like CU right now. Even we got a lot of CSU guys in our office and last week they even admitted that CU is pretty cool right now."

But, the most "hype" moment came last weekend when the entire team, according to linebacker Fred Warner, was dialed into the late-night game against Colorado State, with the atmosphere feeling like a Super Bowl.

"Let me just take everybody through how incredible of a time this is. Flan (Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles) just touched on everything that's going on over there. We are in the hotel the night before the game," Warner said on his podcast, The Warner House. "And when I tell you everybody's in that meal room dialed in. Dialed in watching Colorado vs. Colorado State. They are literally jumping at every single little play to start that game as if we're watching the Super Bowl. That in itself right there is all you need to know about what Deion [Sanders] has done with that program."

"They doing that thing the right way," Warner said. "I gotta respect it all the way through. Shoutout to the Colorado Buffaloes and Coach Prime."

Shanahan corroborated the story, sharing how the team spent the night following meetings watching Colorado's improbable comeback, pointing them out as "the most hype team" overall right now.

"Then last week we finished, it was a night game, so when we were done with our meetings we had to see the fourth quarter in my hotel room, their backs were against the wall and they stepped it up and got it done. So it's been cool to watch. Fun for sports and probably got the most hype team going on right now, so can't get mad about that."

The Colorado Buffaloes are the most entertaining team in football at the moment, and the 49ers are taking notice.

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