The new head coaching hire for Colorado – Coach Prime – has the college football nation excited for what’s to come. The transfer portal is already underway, with over 1,000 players entered – including quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei and linebacker Justin Flowe. The hire comes at a perfect time for Colorado Buffs as Coach Prime zones in on the recruiting stage. One thing that is true about Prime is his ability to recruit big time athletes like Travis Hunter. Prime’s overall genuineness has attracted great athletes and coaches to his programs.
Hiring the right coaching staff is vital for any head coach tasked with rebuilding a program. A great coaching staff will help Coach Prime establish the correct system and culture to mold a national championship team. Enter in the 36-year-old Kent State Head Coach, Sean Lewis. A brilliant offensive mind tasked with taking over the offensive coordinator role for the Colorado Buffs. Coach Lewis’ status is quickly ascending the ranks in college football – mainly due to his explosive offensive system. Let’s take a deep dive into the new offensive coordinator hire for Coach Prime.
Success at Kent State
Throughout his head coaching tenure at Kent State, Sean Lewis did a great job of establishing a winning culture. Over a five-year span, Lewis accumulated a record of 24-31 and led them to a bowl game in 2019 and 2021. Last season, Lewis led his Golden Flashes to top the MAC East division and a Famous Idaho Potato Bowl appearance. He’s also responsible for Kent State’s first-ever bowl victory in 2018. The final score was a 51 – 41 win over Utah State in the Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl. Lewis ignited life and a new offensive identity that gained swift national attention. In 2021, due to Lewis’s offensive productivity, Kent State averaged 13,876 fans in attendance – the most since 2013 (17,818).
Although this 2022 season didn’t reach Lewis’s standards (5-7 overall record), he was still able to create ‘something out of nothing’ with his offense. Lewis’s ’22 offense featured an explosive passing attack led by his star receiver – Dante Cephus. Accumulating a receiving total of 744 yards and 3 TDs on 48 receptions. Cephus entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal, already receiving offers from Pitt and Notre Dame. With players like him, Lewis will continue to develop great athletes within his high octane/tempo offense – something that’s attracted the attention of Coach Prime.
Sean Lewis’s Offense
When Coach Lewis took over at Kent State, he adopted a fast-paced offensive mentality – “Flash Fast.” Lewis’s up-tempo offense put his players in positions to win consistently while putting opposing MAC defenses in a bind schematically. Lewis’s “Flash Fast” offense stems from the Art Briles Baylor system. This consists of wide perimeter splits from wide receivers, up-tempo style of offense, air raid style concepts, and multiple spread system.
Throughout this 2022 season, Kent State had the fastest offense in the Group of 5 and the fourth fastest offense in all of college football. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Lewis’s “Flash Fast” offense averaged 30.1 seconds of real time between snaps. Kent State was able to give the No. 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs a scare (sort of) – only losing by 17 points.
Coach Lewis makes opposing defenses uncomfortable in their perimeter alignments by spacing out his receivers almost to the edge of the sideline. Wide spacing isolates 1-on-1 matchups between defensive backs and wide receivers – making it easier for offensive players to make plays in space. Lewis confuses his opposition with the utilization of run-pass-options (RPOs) married to the run game. Defensive coordinators don’t know what to expect because Lewis is always a step ahead with creativity. A mistake in the defense’s alignment or assignment will result in big plays for Lewis’s offense.
The “Flash Fast” offense is exciting to watch. Not only because of explosive highlights but because of Lewis’s ability to put athletes in successful positions on the field.
The Transition to Colorado
If there’s one thing Deion Sanders knows how to do, it’s recruiting. Not just outstanding players like Travis Hunter but coaches with a high football IQ. That’s probably what he had in mind when he went after Sean Lewis. Prime is up-to-date with the latest offensive trends and how it’s shaping the way college football is played today. With Lewis’s system, it’s clear that Prime wants to establish a fast, creative, and free-flowing offense. With the talent in the 2023 transfer portal and high school recruiting class, Coach Prime plans to establish a roster full of elite talent. That could be deadly for opposing teams in the PAC-12, especially with Lewis’s offense.
Given that speculation, Lewis could have tremendous offensive success with this Colorado roster. Combining this formula of talent and offense creates a monster in the Pac-12. Be sure to monitor specific players that emerge in the Colorado offense this season. This could propel Colorado to the top of the ranks in college football. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a huge turnaround with the Colorado Buffs in 2023. Coach Prime is onto something special in Boulder, already acquiring an innovative offensive coordinator in Sean Lewis.