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Shortly after Colorado State quarterback Shedeur Sanders led his team to a stunning 45-42 victory at TCU on Saturday, he received a text message from a trusted mentor.
The mentor is former NFL legendary quarterback Tom Brady.
His message is simple:
“Don’t be satisfied.”
He is not. The youngest son of Colorado State head coach Deion Sanders made that clear Tuesday after a record-setting performance.
As Buffalo prepares to face Nebraska in Saturday’s home opener, Shaddell Sanders even said that watching the game film of his nationally televised masterpiece in Texas was like Watching a horror movie filled with too many incomplete pitches and poor decisions.
“I feel like I’m missing out on a lot,” he said at a news conference on Tuesday. “I could have had bigger numbers and stuff like that. I watched the game. I watched all the bad clips yesterday and stuff like that and it really left a bad impression on me. So I have to be motivated to go Go out there, strive for more perfection, and play a better game.”
How can he have a better game?
He set nine school records in his first game at Colorado, including 510 passing yards and an 80.9 percent completion rate. He has led Buffalo (1-11 last year) to a national ranking for the first time since the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, ranking No. 25 in the America’s LMB Coaches Poll.
Sanders, 21, has a 71-8 record as a quarterback since high school, including a 23-3 record in two seasons at Jackson State where his father was head coach.
“We have absolutely elite, and I mean top-tier elite quarterbacks,” Colorado tight ends coach Tim Brewster said in August.
Brewster will know. He previously served as an assistant coach with NFL and college teams, including quarterback standouts Drew Brees, Jake Plummer and Jameis Winston ).
But Deion Sanders pointed out after Saturday’s game that until now, no one seemed to believe it because they were playing at the highest level of college football and not at Jackson State, which then competing at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level with fewer resources and less depth of talent.
It’s a label used to disparage him: Scheider is an “FCS player,” even though he could have played for a major program if he didn’t want to play for his father in Jackson, Mississippi.
“I would say the only difference between FCS and this level is when you try to get up there faster (the defense) gets off the blocks,” he said Saturday. “That’s it.”
This and the media attention are even more intense in Colorado. Beyond that, this is Shaddell Sanders, who has been winning his whole life, influenced by his father — and invested by Brady — while also working with his older brother Shiloh, a safety at Colorado State (Guardian) was promoted by friendly competition. In the bigger picture, Saturday was just the latest move in a process that has been carefully managed and planned over the years, right down to his personal hygiene after games.
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What is his method?
∎ Unlike his flamboyant father, Scheidel appears to be soft-spoken. “Stable as a rock,” his father said.
Scheidel is now receiving more attention after Saturday, but he said Tuesday that despite having more than 1.1 million followers on his Instagram account (which is managed by someone else), he doesn’t watch TV or check social media. He also only gave his personal phone number to a select group of people. This all helps him avoid distractions.
“I’m disconnected from this type of thing because I know what it can lead to,” he said.
∎ He also thrives in competition off the court, especially in a family of former or current athletes. His oldest brother, Deion Jr., played at SMU. His youngest sister, Sheromi, plays basketball at Colorado State. His other brother Shiloh is a teammate on the other side.
“They (Shadel and Shiloh) were arguing about who had the most money in the bank,” Deion Sanders said at a news conference Tuesday. “I like that because it doesn’t matter who spends the most, who has the most stuff. It’s like, ‘Who has the most money in the bank? ’ I love hearing arguments like that. I love that. And then it made me nervous and I said, ‘Let’s stop it. “But they’re always competing and I like that because it pushes them.”
∎ Scheidel’s approach also means he focuses more on what went wrong rather than everything that happens after a game like Saturday’s. That’s thanks to the influence of Brady, who also coached him at Jackson State under his father.
“It really just highlights the bad things that we did and watching it over and over again gives us a bad feeling like we can’t make the same mistakes,” Sheddell Sanders said Tuesday.
∎ Appearance is also important. After Saturday’s performance, he sat down to take questions from reporters, but first looked down at his phone and called a timeout.
“Wait a minute,” he said. “One second. I’m going to make sure I don’t have anything stuck in my teeth, man.”
It ties in with an old adage from his stylish father, a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
“If you look good, you feel good,” his father often said. “If you feel good, you’re going to play well.”
Shaddell Sanders did all of those things on Saturday, especially at the end of Saturday’s game.
What happened and what happens next?
TCU led 42-38 with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Sanders faced fourth-and-2 at the TCU 46-yard line. If Buffalo had failed at this point, TCU would have won.
“I was thinking to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s fourth-and-2, but I’ve been there before, you know?” Shaddell Sanders said. “This isn’t the first time I’ve been in a fourth-and-2 situation. So I said, ‘Okay, do the play call. That’s it. If it’s not there, extend the game. “Do something to make it happen. It happens. “
He did, taking a shotgun snap and finding freshman running back Dylan Edwards open near the line of scrimmage for a pass. Edwards then sprinted left for a touchdown, giving the Buffs a 45-42 lead for good.
It was Sanders’ fourth touchdown pass of the game.
Now comes Nebraska, Colorado’s old rival in the Big Eight and Big 12.
“We just know the history of it – Colorado, we don’t like Nebraska, simple,” Shaddell Sanders said.
In another big game, he’ll move on to other topics — whether he’s a Heisman Trophy candidate and whether he might turn pro after his lone season in Boulder. In the meantime, he’ll continue to heed Brady’s postgame advice.
“It’s so cool to hear from him and know that he’s still watching,” Shadl Sanders said. “Just working with him, it really helped me understand – don’t focus on the good things. We did it … focus on the bad. Focus on the things we can’t do at a high level.”
Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer @schrotenpol. Email: email@example.com