Colorado brings in Hall of Fame defensive lineman Warren Sapp as grad assistant to work with Buffs

Hall of Fame defensive lineman Warren Sapp is headed back to the classroom in order to be more of a hands-on coach for the Colorado Buffaloes.

Deion Sanders added the 51-year-old Sapp to the staff as a graduate assistant, which paves the way for him to work on the field with the team. Sapp, who's taking classes, introduced himself to the Buffaloes as the senior quality control analyst — a mouth-full, he added — but that role would limit his involvement on the field.

“We’re building mansions here," Sapp said to the team when he was introduced by Sanders to the group in a video posted on YouTube. “That’s why I’m here, to help you build your mansion.”

The University of Miami standout spent 13 seasons in the NFL with Tampa Bay and the Oakland Raiders. Sapp was the 1999 AP defensive player of the year and won a Super Bowl title with the Buccaneers following the 2002 season.

Sapp, who finished his career with 96 1/2 sacks, is looking forward to working alongside Sanders and the rest of the staff.

“I’ve been a Deion Sanders fan since I was 12 years old,” Sapp said in the video posted through “ Well Off Media,” which is run by Deion Sanders Jr. “We’re all here for the man. Let’s go ride — championship time.”

In 2015, Sapp took a plea deal that spared him jail time in a Las Vegas criminal case involving a scuffle with his former girlfriend at a casino hotel swimming pool. The incident came months after Sapp was fired as an analyst for the NFL Network following his arrest in Phoenix for assaulting and soliciting a prostitute during Super Bowl weekend. He pleaded guilty to both charges, and the solicitation charge was dropped after he completed a diversion program.

“Warren Sapp successfully completed all of the necessary steps required of anyone who is employed at CU Boulder, including a background check,” Colorado said in a statement issued to The Associated Press. "Furthermore, athletic director Rick George personally met with Warren to clearly articulate the department’s standards and expectations, to which he acknowledged and agreed.”

Deion Sanders lauded Sapp's pedigree — pointing out he had a gold jacket, too — and his trash-talk game.

“That’s how we meet, talking junk,” Sanders said to the team.

Sanders has been busy tinkering with his coaching staff following a 4-8 showing in his first season at Colorado. He added Robert Livingston as the defensive coordinator and brought in Phil Loadholt to shore up a shaky offensive line to better protect his QB son, Shedeur Sanders. The team is sticking with Pat Shurmur as the offensive coordinator after he took over play-calling duties during last season.

Colorado is gearing up for its spring game on April 27 at Folsom Field. It will be aired on the Pac-12 Network, the team announced Monday, and followed that night by a concert featuring Lil Wayne at CU Events Center.

The Buffaloes are moving from the Pac-12 to the Big 12 next season.


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