Calm. Cool. Collected.
That sums up the attitude of Shedeur Sanders. If you watch Shedeur on the sideline during games, he never shows his hand. Even through the lowest of lows on the field, he'll have the same demanaor he had when the game started. He's not fazed by adversity and he's certainly not fazed by hate. In fact, Shedeur embraces the hate.
"I enjoy it. I enjoy the hate. I enjoy that they get mad," Sanders says. "If they're not talking about what you're doing, you're not relevant. So knowing that you got people hating on you, that means you're doing something right."
That mentality comes naturally growing up with Deion "Prime Time" Sanders as your father. Shedeur has been under the spotlight his whole life but has been able to carve out his own personal brand the past few yeas. He's grown beyond just being Deion's son. Regarded as one of the best quarterback NFL Draft prospects in college right now, Shedeur is ready to write his own story and walk on his own path.
Shedeur's impact and reach goes far beyond football. Whether it was DJ Khaled doing "The Shedeur" or LeBron James showing love to him while he sat courtside, Sanders has grown into a true needle-mover in culture. Shedeur's next endeavor is stepping into the fashion lane.
Shedeur recently partnered with Pair of Thieves, a men’s basics company, to release their SuperCool line curated for athletes and active enthusiasts. We sat down with Shedeur for an exclusive interview in Colorado to speak on the partnership, his haters, his NFL comparison, the stigma of being a Black QB, and more.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Talk about this collaboration with Pair of Thieves. Why did you feel like this was a good fit for you?
Pair of Thieves is amazing. We were able to partner together. My team brought it to me and I was like 'yeah, you gotta do it.' My main thing is just really having comfortable clothes I'm wearing and they know that's the main thing. That's all I do is just wear comfortable clothes. So their vision and my vision align. So then we made it happen.
To that point, you've been big in the clothing brand space of late. We talked a little bit about it last year but is fashion a big aspect of Shedeur Sanders?
Yeah, fashion is definitely, I try everything knowing what I like, what I don't like and I finally found my safe space within clothing.
What would you say is your favorite piece from the SuperCool line?
I'll definitely say the underwear, the underwear is the best because you just gotta find like a great type of underwear. You know that always just feels good at all times.
Staying on fashion, I would say NBA players have probably taken the stage more than football players. Do you feel like you could be that person to transcend fashion as a football player?
Well, it just depends on what type of fashion you're talking about. Like, I'm never gonna wear a dress and things just outrageous like that. So, I will never be one of those people. I definitely like fashion and things I like and what I'm comfortable with but I never do that. I just like what I like.
You have said that your dad doesn't influence you anymore...
Yeah. Not no more.
But you do wear his cleats on the field.
Yeah. I gotta wear his cleats up there and represent the family. His cleats were historic and legendary back in the day and they still are to this day. But things transpired to where he was with Under Armour at the time, so it wasn't available. So now, they renewed and everything is good. So we back wearing the cleats.
Is your own cleat something you aspire to have one day?
I definitely wanna have my own cleat. I wanna have like a version of his kind for sure. But like a little bit my way. But he'll definitely have a say in it though cause he's pops. He got to. He done did it, he was successful and you know, he's still going and still doing everything the right way.
Switching to football side of things, what's the biggest thing you've learned about yourself this year?
The biggest thing I learned about myself, I could say throughout everything is stay focused and keep going. That's really what it is and it's cliche, but that's what I truly mean. And that's how I truly feel.
We've seen "The Shedeur" take over the world. We saw DJ Khaled, NFL players, and even Chet Holmgren do it in the NBA. What's that feeling like seeing your impact across the country?
Well, it's amazing because it's just now somebody has another celebration to do whenever they achieve on their achievements, which is amazing. So whenever anybody has a chance to do it and they do it's really exciting to me because it just happened. It wasn't like planned or anything. It just happened.
So take me through the first moment you did it? Why did you do it?
Nah, I don't know. it just happened. Like I said, it wasn't anything planned or anything. It just happened. So then since then it took off and it was that.
That's a $70K watch...
Where did you have it? Was it on your wrist? Was someone holding it?
But see, that's the thing. Everything you guys are seeing now, we've been doing at Jackson State but now it's just coming to light because we're on a bigger stage. So all you gotta do is look at the old files and everything we did and what we've been doing, you'll be able to go back and see. It's the same thing.
A question I asked you last year was your comparison at the time. You kinda said you didn't know? Now that you have a little bit more tape under your belt, who would you say is the person that you compare your game to?
Well, I'll say it's a mixture because I'm able to stay in the pocket and deliver the ball. I can play like Brady, but I'm also able to extend plays and if it's not there, take it like Vick. So it just depends, it's funny whenever situations in the game occur, they're like 'hey, you gotta be Vick tonight. You gotta be Mike Vick tonight.' So then that's when we bring our legs involved.
But I say it's a mixture of a lot of great quarterbacks that all just have a different skill set. So that's why I feel like I'm special in what I bring to the table. I wanna stay in the pocket, I wanna throw it like Tom, but sometimes those opportunities ain't there.
So you have a Brady Mode and a Mike Vick mode?
Both and a legendary mode.
You've had cameras on you all your life. Is it ever taxing or just too much for you to be monitored every second?
No, it's never taxing because I I enjoy my breaks when I get them. So when I get my breaks, pops may not hear from me. Nobody may not hear from me cause I'm taking some me time. So nah I don't really get taxed or anything because of the cameras and everything cause it's so normal to us.
Is that something that goes through your head that people from the outside are constantly always watching and you have to be careful what you do?
Yeah. Well, no, it's, it's really, you know, we always talked about it. I just, even years back, we always talked about it but now we're at like, AAA national stage. I mean, I still do the same thing but it's something I just can't do, can't, can't be open with, can't, just honestly do because everybody will have an opinion about you and, and it may not even be true but they have their own opinion. So you really just, just keep who you are and everything to yourself. I'll say, more to just protect everything. But yeah, you just stay private in a way.
You mentioned opinions. There's a lot of opinions out there, good and bad. How do you personally handle that? I know you are on social media. How do you handle that hate?
But that's the thing, I'm not on social media though. In the offseason, of course, I'm on social media but during the season, I'm not on social media at all. So that's just the thing like I may get on after a game but it just depends on really how I'm feeling, but I don't really be on social media. I have people run my accounts for me so I don't even know what's be going on half the time.
I know you said you're not on social media there but there's obviously a lot of hate online, television, and in-person. You play at Arizona State, there's hate. You watch TV, there's someone hating. How do you handle that when you come across it?
I mean, I enjoy it. I enjoy the hate. I enjoy that they get mad. If they're not talking about you about what you're doing, then you're not relevant. You're not doing anything. So knowing that you got people hating on you, that means you're doing something right. Because if somebody wasn't saying anything negative about you or anything, then you ain't doing the right thing in life.
This was something we talked about briefly last year but we just had three Black QBs drafted in the top 5 last year and now you and other names like Caleb Williams are transcending the game as black quarterbacks. Do you feel like that stigma of being a black quarterback is why some people hate even more?
Yeah, of course it is. I'll say of course it is because you gotta understand how I was raised. I was raised by two great parents. I'm level-headed. I understand what being Black or being melanated is. I understand what it comes with. So a lot of people have their own opinions about things and some things you won't be able to get away with, but you just got to control the controls and not really put yourself in bad positions that could be taken as any way.
We're midway through the season. What is a successful for year for you?
Just win games. That's simple. It don't matter about stats, it don't matter about accolades or anything like that. The main thing is just win the games and cherish each and every one we get,
I saw the clip of your pops saying you're not going anywhere when speaking on the NFL. We're not making any announcements now of course but can you see yourself at Colorado next year?
It just depends. It's definitely a deep decision that you gotta make and you know, it just gotta be made the right way. You don't wanna just come out this year and it's not the best situation for you. So that's the main thing or you don't wanna go out next year and it's not the best situation for you. So that's a lot of thinking. There's a lot of things that just come into, come into play and just understanding like, basically what everything comes with.
So it's a lot of pros and cons of both decisions. It's just something you just gotta really sit down and think about after the season right now. It's just too much going on an right now to even be thinking about declaring and going to the league or not cause it week by week things could change things, anything could happen.
If you focus on the thing down the road, you ain't gonna be focused on now. So you just have to be a perfectionist and just try to win each and every game and do what you can for the team.