Former Viking Joins Deion Sanders in Colorado

Deion Sanders walks the sidelines as the Colorado plays Arizona State at Mountain America Stadium. © Joe Rondone / USA TODAY NETWORK.

In early September, no hotter sports story existed in America than the Colorado Buffaloes football program.

Led by new head coach Deion Sanders, Colorado football took the nation by storm, mainly because of Sanders’ popular, everpresent, and charismatic bravado. Colorado began the NCAA season with a 3-0 record and hoodwinked folks into believing it was a collegiate powerhouse.

Former Viking Joins Deion Sanders in Colorado

Then, Sanders and Co. finished the remaining nine games with a 1-8 record, and as it turned out, there was really nothing special about the football team whatsoever. It just had a cool coach. Colorado didn’t even get a bowl game; almost every decent team gets a bowl game. No luck.

Former Viking Joins Deion
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The Buffaloes will hope to build on the once-promising campaign in 2024, and to help pave that path, Sanders reportedly hired former Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Phil Loadholt this week.

BuffZone’s Brian Howell reported, “Former NFL lineman Phil Loadholt is coming to Boulder to work with Coach Prime. BuffZone confirmed Wednesday night through multiple sources that Colorado head coach Deion Sanders has hired Loadholt to coach the Buffaloes’ offensive line. The former Oklahoma analyst and Minnesota Vikings starter is replacing Bill O’Boyle, who left this week to coach the linemen at San Diego State.”

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Loadholt played for the Vikings — and only the Vikings — in his NFL career from 2009 to 2015. He was Minnesota’s starting right tackle until T.J. Clemmings took over in 2015.

Before the Colorado news this week, Loadholt served as an offensive analyst for the University of Oklahoma Sooners and a personnel analyst at Ole Miss before that. The mountain of a man also worked at the University of Central Florida in 2017.

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Colorado ranked 80th in the nation per yards gained on offense in 2023, so the program will need all the help it can get in 2024 and beyond. The Buffaloes also placed second worst in the country in sacks allowed to opponents, only ahead of Old Dominion on the list of 130 schools. In that regard, anything Loadholt can do to help will be welcomed.

Loadholt, 37, was drafted by the Vikings in 2009 via the second round and, in fact, earned a spot on the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team that season.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports.

Back in January, several reputable outlets reported that ex-Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer would also join Sanders’ staff in Colorado, but it doesn’t appear that ever happened. Zimmer was a consultant for Sanders in 2022 at Jackson State.

Loadholt was notably known for his size throughout his playing days — 6’8″ and 350 pounds.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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