Shilo Sanders [600x400]
Shilo Sanders [600x400] (Credit: AP Photo/Lucas Peltier)

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LAS VEGAS -- After another offseason of roster change, Colorado expects to improve with less "poison" in its program, safety Shilo Sanders said.

Sanders, the son of Buffaloes coach Deion Sanders, told ESPN that the team is more bonded after some player departures. Although Colorado didn't match the 86 new players it brought in before the 2023 season, the team was once again active in the transfer portal with arrivals and departures. Deion Sanders told ESPN that the team's on-field depth is substantially better after a 4-8 season, while Shilo Sanders noted that the changes have impacted morale, too.

"As a team, you've got to be able to bond and can't have no hate toward each other," Shilo Sanders said. "You can't [have] poison. We got rid of a lot of poison last year. And this year, we're in a better space, clicking as a team and we expect to win."

When asked what he meant by poison, Shilo Sanders said players who are no longer with the program "talking crap about Colorado, coaches, that kind of stuff."

Mark Vassett, who returns as the Buffaloes' punter after transferring from Louisville, also emphasized the team's improved chemistry.

"They say they want to recruit guys smart, tough, fast, disciplined with character and the 'with character' thing, they really mean it," Vassett said. "We want good guys in the locker room."

Vassett added that there "were a few" who didn't fit Colorado's objectives. Colorado targeted offensive line, defensive line, running back and several other positions in the transfer portal.

"The talent level we have is so much different," Deion Sanders told ESPN. "That's why the expectation level is so much different."