We need to talk about Deion Sanders.
Coach Prime has been at Jackson State for three seasons, and has won 11 games each of the last two years. Jackson State is on the verge of repeating as Southwestern Athletic Conference champions. Their last championship before the Deion Sanders era came in 2007.
Under normal circumstances, a coach that won back to back conference championships at an HBCU, and somehow managed to convince the consensus #1 recruit in the country in Travis Hunter to come and play for him, would be a hot name for any potential Group of 5 suitors.
But this is Deion Sanders we’re talking about.
His name has been linked to every opening in the country, and even some jobs that aren’t open, like his alma mater Florida State. Charles Barkley said he wants Deion at Auburn. Fans at last weekend’s Nebraska game against Wisconsin were spotted holding up “Bring on Neon Deion” signs. Arizona State President Michael Crow said on a radio interview that the name people feed him most often about their opening is Deion Sanders.
This week a report from Carl Reed at 247 Sports came out that Deion is at the top of two school’s lists– University of Colorado, and University of South Florida. Before this season, Deion was actually in the mix for the jobs at Colorado State and Texas Christian.
But there’s one school nobody seems to be talking about that is a perfect fit for Coach Prime’s personality, coaching style, and personal value system, plus is comfortable with both his past history as co-founder of the ill-fated Prime Prep Academy, and his business relationship with the often controversial Barstool Sports.
Deion Sanders’ next employer should be none other than his current employer.
That’s right, I’m saying Coach Prime should ride things out at Jackson State.
Deion Sanders got ESPN’s College Gameday to come to Jackson, Mississippi, and helped the show pull in its best week 9 viewership in 13 years.
Deion Sanders convinced 22 NFL teams to fly representatives to Jackson State for an all-Mississippi Scouting combine, and called out the 10 NFL teams that didn’t make the trip. He also helped James Houston IV become the first Jackson State player to be drafted by an NFL team since 2008.
Deion Sanders helped Jackson State navigate an ongoing clean water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi that kept the team from being able to stay on its own campus, while calling attention to the issue nationwide, and pressuring the state’s Governor into action.
At Jackson State, Deion Sanders has had the privilege of coaching his sophomore QB son Shedeur Sanders, who has thrown over 6,000 yards and 60+ touchdowns.
And most importantly to my point, when rival Alabama State head coach Eddie Robinson Jr. called Sanders out by saying he “ain’t SWAC,” Deion responded by saying “If I ain’t SWAC, who is SWAC?“
The best way for Deion Sanders to prove that he’s SWACv is to stick around in the SWAC and not make a jump to a middling FBS school that we can all agree would only be a brief stopping point until he proves to the SEC or ACC powers that be that he’s ready for the big leagues.
Why jump from stepping stone to stepping stone when Jackson State provides you with the perfect platform to be who you are, and to do what you do?
Just like Deion made 22 NFL teams fly to Jackson, if his ultimate goal is to be at Auburn or Florida State, or even to succeed his Aflac commercial co-star Nick Saban at Alabama, I believe he should make them come to him.
Let that sink in.
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