Deion Sanders is standing up for Henry Blackburn after the Colorado State safety received death threats for a late hit on Colorado’s two-time star Travis Hunter, claiming neither of his two sons – Shedeur or Shilo – will go to the NFL next year.
“It’s absurd that people are being threatened,” the Colorado coach said at his weekly news conference. ‘I don’t mind getting death threats. I get them every week. But as a child that is not good. (…) He doesn’t deserve a death threat because of a match. Ultimately, this is a game: someone has to win, someone has to lose. Everyone moves on with their lives the next day. Very unfortunate.’
Blackburn delivered a late blow to Hunter’s gut on an incomplete pass in the first quarter of the Rocky Mountain Showdown last weekend. The Rams senior drew a flag for unnecessary roughness, one of 17 penalties the Rams committed in the 43-35 double overtime loss to the Buffaloes. Hunter went to the hospital for further evaluation with his life torn.
Sanders said he has forgiven Blackburn, and that includes Hunter, who has no definitive timeline for a return. Sanders said there is no place for the threats against Blackburn and his family.
“Henry Blackburn is a good player who had a phenomenal game,” said Sanders, whose 19th-ranked Buffaloes (3-0) travel to No. 10 Oregon on Saturday before hosting No. 5 Southern Cal next week. “He made a huge hit on Travis on the sideline. You could call it dirty, you could just call it a football game. But whatever it was, it doesn’t mean he should receive death threats.”
Deion Sanders stood up for Colorado State’s Henry Blackburn amid death threats he received
Blackburn hit Colorado’s Travis Hunter off the sideline in Saturday’s rivalry game
Colorado State coach Jay Norvell said Monday that the address of Blackburn, a Boulder native, and his family was posted on social media. Norvell also added that police were involved given the nature of the comments.
“I am saddened if any of our fans are on the other side of these threats,” Sanders said. “I hope and pray not, but that kid just played to the best of his ability. And he made a mistake. (…) Let’s move on. That child doesn’t deserve that.’
Speaking on his online streaming show, Hunter said of Blackburn’s hit: ‘He did what he had to do. It’s football. Sooner or later something bad will happen on the field. You have to get up and fight again.”
Improves safety Shilo Sanders isn’t completely over the blow yet. Hunter is one of his good friends and they trade food for each other before the game.
“I really wanted to cuss out that guy who did that to him, really, after the game or something,” he said. ‘If I see him anywhere here, he has to be careful. But that really pissed me off, just seeing him play so dirty. That was crazy.’
Hunter went to the hospital for further evaluation with a torn life and will be out against Oregon
Hunter rarely came off the field for the Buffaloes in wins over TCU and Nebraska. He has an interception and nine tackles on defense. He also caught 16 passes for 213 yards from quarterback Shedeur Sanders.
“I absolutely hate that for Travis. He’s a dynamic kid,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. “He has a special personality and is obviously great on the football field. He certainly gave them an edge. I hope he gets healthy soon. “I’m sad not to see him play in this match because he’s meant for a stage like this, the stage we’ll have on Saturday.”
As for who might replace Hunter, Deion Sanders said this is a tough assignment.
“No one in the country can fill Travis Hunter’s shoes,” Sanders said. ‘You have to understand that he is a unique player. He is one of a kind. He’s the best player on offense, the best player on defense. That’s just who he is – in the country, not just on his team.
“So when guys step up, all they have to do is do the work we ask them to do.”
Sanders attended the Denver Broncos’ most recent home game — a 33-35 loss to the Washington Commanders on Sunday, just a day after Colorado’s win — where Shedeur and Shilo, as evidenced by a video on social media, did not seemed to agree with Shilo’s projection that he and his brother will both play in the NFL in 2024.
“We kind of started it when we got here… Shilo says, ‘Oh Shedeur, look… you’re going to be in the NFL next year. “I said no, it’s not,” Sanders said.
After a surprised Shilo explained to his father that he was actually talking about both he and Shedeur going to the NFL, Shedeur, who was off camera, chimed in with “Whatchu trynna say,” to which Deion responded, “That are you all’. isn’t going anywhere’.
Shedeur is projected to go No. 14 to the Broncos, according to a recent mock draft from CBS Sports NFL, but his father and coach would clearly prefer him to stay for another season as Colorado looks to continue its rise to the top of the rankings . college football.
Shedeur is also considered a Heisman Trophy candidate thanks to his performance in the opening weeks of the season in Colorado.