Colorado to give transferring players access to practice film

Colorado players who have entered the transfer portal will have access to practice film from 2022 and earlier, the team said Wednesday, in response to players who had been denied access to the footage.

Tight end Zachary Courtney and outside linebacker Kaden Ludwick both told ESPN that, when asked, the team would not provide film from fall 2022 practices. The film had been requested by prospective coaches after the players entered the portal earlier this month.

Courtney, a freshman who missed spring practice while recovering from surgery — and entered the portal April 19 — tweeted about his situation Tuesday, writing, “this is not a shot at [coach Deion Sanders] I just wanted coaches to know I have no film for them!!”

Courtney told ESPN that he had contacted Colorado’s video staff, who informed him that only game footage would be released.

“I didn’t expect to get so much attention to my post, and I wish I didn’t post now, because it put a bad look on both me and Deion, and I didn’t want Deion to have any bad rap,” said Courtney, who received scholarship offers from Miami (Ohio) and Coastal Carolina even without providing film. “I just wanted my film. I got hurt midway through the season, so I didn’t have enough game film to show. It would have been really nice to show, because I went against the first-team defense [in practice].”

Ludwick said that players normally accessed film through an iPad app but that film from 2022, including scrimmages at practice, had been “wiped.” It is typical for transferring players to have access to practice film, and some will record it on their phones to make sure they have it before entering the portal.

“Colorado is happy to provide all game film and any practice film prior to spring 2023 to any student-athlete and institution upon request,” the team said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Colorado has had 28 players enter the portal since Monday — the most of any FBS team — and 41 since April 15. That includes three who entered the portal Wednesday afternoon, notably Taylor Upshaw, a defensive lineman who recently transferred into the school from Michigan, and starting offensive lineman Jake Wiley.

Sanders, hired in December after three seasons at Jackson State, has consistently spoken about flipping the roster, telling players at his first team meeting to “hop in that portal.”

Sanders appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday and said Colorado soon would be adding notable players to fill roster spots. Two former Florida State players — defensive end Derrick McLendon and linebacker Brendan Gant — announced their intentions to transfer to Colorado on Wednesday. McLendon started 12 games and had 3.5 sacks last season while Gant had 33 tackles and a sack in 2022.

“We already know what we’ve got on the way in, baby; they’re probably at the airport right now,’” Sanders told McAfee. “It’s no way that I can put new furniture in this beautiful home if we don’t clean out the old furniture. That’s not a shot. It’s great furniture, a lot of people are going to love it, but that’s not what we want.”

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