When Colorado hosts North Dakota State, all eyes will be on Shedeur Sanders. The star quarterback and presumed top NFL draft pick isn't overlooking the Bison, a perennial FCS contender in their season-opening contest.

North Dakota State is not just any team; they are one of the greatest programs in FCS history. With 17 national titles, including nine FCS Championships, the Bison have a legacy of excellence. Their alumni include NFL talents like Carson Wentz and Trey Lance. Last season, North Dakota State went 11-4 and advanced to the FCS Playoffs semifinals, narrowly losing to Montana State in a thrilling two-overtime game.

When asked about the upcoming matchup, Sanders leaned on his HBCU experience to offer insights in a video obtained by Wildcat Radio 1290. “I mean I came from FCS so I don't see nobody as a slouch,” he said. “I was playing against Alcorn and a lot of great teams like Alabama State, and they gave me the hardest fight that I have ever seen. FCS is different, like it's a lot of underrated players and teams in there, and really the battle with that is in the trenches.”

Sanders stresses that they're preparing for North Dakota State the same way that they're preparing for any other team on their schedule.

“We know what I did, you know, and I know what Travis did; we know what Shilo did. So they're a great team, and we don't take anything against them. We're preparing for them the same way we'll prepare for any other team.”

Sanders has shown his ability to compete at both the FCS and FBS level during his college career. The star QB played two seasons at Jackson State University and put up big numbers. He posted career numbers of 6,983 with 616 completions on 901 attempts and 70 Touchdowns. Sanders only had 14 interceptions in his two years with the Tigers and passed for 268.6 yards per game. His play earned him 2021 SWAC Freshman Of The Year honors and the prestigious Deacon Jones Award.

His game transitioned seamlessly to Colorado, as he finished the season with 3,230 passing yards and 27 passing touchdowns. His most impressive display was arguably the Week 1 upset victory over TCU. He set a school record by throwing for 510 yards and four touchdowns, completing 39 out of 47 passes and averaging 10.9 yards per attempt.

Reflecting on the differences between FCS and FBS, Sanders said in a press conference in September following the victory, “The only difference between FCS & this level is that the d-line get off blocks if you try to scramble up, faster. Everything else…you got good players, you got good DBs, you got good receivers…You gotta think, everybody on the field not going first round.”

The Week 1 matchup between Colorado and North Dakota State will air on ESPN at 8 PM EST on Thursday, August 29th, and is sure to capture the attention of college football world