There’s going to be a whole lot more roster churn this summer, as Coach Prime continues to overhaul the Colorado Buffaloes’ roster that just went 1-11 a season ago. That was only cemented by the fact that Nikko Reed, Keyshon Mills, Dylan Dixson, and Austin Smith have all decided to enter the transfer portal.

Now, to an extent, this was always expected.

When he first addressed the team, Coach Prime famously told the roster that, ‘he would be bringing his own luggage, and it’s Louis’. Nowhere was that more true than defensive back, where Prime brought his star safety from Jackson State, a proven SEC nickelback and the highest-rated high school cornerback recruit in the history of the sport.

As a result, some players that were once projected to be major contributors have now almost lost their role entirely, and as a result, want to look for a spot where they can see the field this season, hence the departure of Reed, Mills, and Dixson.

Reed will be the most impactful of those departures, as he started to break out as one of Colorado’s best players a season ago, and was arguably their best defensive back. He also offered some special teams value as a returner.

Of these three departures, Reed is the one where it wasn’t difficult at all to envision him contributing to Coach Prime’s iteration of the Buffs in 2023 and beyond, despite the defensive back room being considerably more crowded. Fortunately, given his prowess at recruiting DBs, Prime should be able to replace him without much sweat.

Meanwhile, Mills and Dixson were two of the Colorado Buffaloes’ top recruits in their 2022 class.

Dixson was the highest-rated player in Colorado’s recruiting class, and even saw the field a little as a true freshman, but with Coach Prime adding so many defensive backs, it started to become difficult to project playing time for Dixson. Now, Dixson could’ve maybe waited a season or two for Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig or Trevor Woods to leave, and clear some room at safety, but he’ll instead head elsewhere.

Then, there’s Mills, who should be the least impactful of the losses, simply because he didn’t have a role with the Colorado Buffaloes last year, and has already been replaced from a talent perspective.

Nonetheless, his departure does open up some holes in terms of the roster’s depth, which could later present problems on special teams.

Lastly is Austin Smith, whose departure doesn’t come as much of a surprise, outside of the fact that the Colorado Buffaloes are already looking for help at the tight end position. Now, Smith struggled to receive playing time each of his first two years in Boulder, and already seemed to be the odd man out with Seydou Traore, Louis Passarello, and Erik Olsen making early impacts.

Seeing this mass exodus is a bummer, but Buffs Nation should rest easy knowing Coach Prime has some more highly coveted transfer talent on the way.