Deion Sanders Speaks to JSU Being the Model for All HBCUs

Last Updated: Jun 28th 2022   Published: May 23rd 2022   2 Min Read
Deion Sanders Speaks to JSU Being the Model for All HBCUs
Image © Barbara Gauntt/Clarion Ledger / USA TODAY NETWORK

Deion Sanders is considered to be one of the greatest athletes and top cornerbacks in NFL history. When the Hall of Famer became Jackson State’s football coach, he stated he was going to “level the playing field for HBCUs” and “prove there is a highway that takes you from JSU all the way to the NFL.”

When he spoke over a zoom call with the ‘I AM ATHLETE” podcast, he mentioned how he didn’t believe that this attack from coach Saban was directed at him and that he thinks it was directed to the Alabama donors and sponsors so that they could keep up with Texas A&M.

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He went further to iterate that he thinks his team was mentioned because of their recruiting achievements in being able to secure the no.1 ranked player in the nation Travis Hunter. This came as a surprise to many power 5 schools as it started to confirm the growing feeling that the playing field could possibly become level. In an interview with ESPN and SI, Sanders gave his official response to Saban stating that “We as a people don't have to pay our people to play with our people”. He then elaborated on this point, saying that Travis Hunter first came to campus and an HBCU game with 60,000 of his own people gathered in peace for a positive cause, (JSU also won that game).

He believes that for a top recruit who has only heard about power 5 schools and only visited the D-1 programs; all you need to do is show them how they can connect the dots between the culture and their (black) people and that it’s not a step down but a step in a different direction. An experience such as that where a player can see people that look like him in mass support and in leadership which he looks up to, doing well, it can instill a certain pride in a person that can motivate them to make a decision like this.

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