King: Colorado’s Deion Sanders, USC’s Lincoln Riley will be targeted for NFL HC job

Colorado’s Deion Sanders, USC’s Lincoln Riley will be targeted for NFL HC job

Many of the NFL scouts on hand to watch USC beat Colorado 48-41 likely weren’t just watching the players on the field.

According to Peter King of NBC Sports, Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders and Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley “will both get an NFL feel soon.”

Riley has been on the radar of NFL teams for several years. While reporting on an extension with Oklahoma in July 2020, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported that he turned down offers to talk to “several” pro teams.

The 40-year-old has plenty of reasons to stay in college — including, reportedly, $110 million — but the day may come when he’s ready to give up coaching for good, recruitment and training and recruitment. Meanwhile, Sanders has seen his coaching stock rise so quickly that anything is possible. He silenced his doubters by leading Jackson State to a 27-6 record in three seasons, and Colorado’s 3-2 start further cemented his reputation. The Buffs already have two more wins than they recorded in all of 2022.

When it comes to coaching in the NFL, there’s no doubt the Hall of Famer will immediately command respect in the locker room, which is another sign in his favor.

Colorado dropped in the rankings with losses to Oregon and USC, and still has three more ranked opponents (Oregon State, Washington State and Utah) on the schedule. Perhaps NFL teams’ interest in Coach Prime will wane a bit if the Buffaloes finish with a losing record. If he leads the program to a bowl game, all bets could be off.

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