The Jackson State Tigers football team led by Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is currently in South Florida preparing to face SWAC foe FAMU on Sunday.
The game dubbed the Orange Blossom Classic will be the season opener for the Tigers and the second game for the Rattlers who opened the season with a 56-24 loss at UNC. Both programs have dealt with their share of off-the-field drama and crisis. The Tigers crisis seems to still be going on as they were forced off campus early in the week, because of no water in the city of Jackson. Coach Prime had to put the players in hotels until they traveled to Miami on Thursday for Sunday’s affair.
Following Sunday’s game it’s a good chance they’ll be returning to the same circumstances. During a press conference on Friday to discuss Sunday’s huge early season tilt, Sanders had a message for those back in the city of Jackson, Mississippi.
“The AD brought me in during the pandemic. It was turbulent times then. Touch and go. Whether you’re gonna play this week, play next week. Whether we’re gonna have players elegible or not. … Dealt with a snowstorm. Now we dealing with a water crisis. One thing that I’ve garnished and I’ve gathered, Jackson, Mississippi, is resilient.”
Sanders is speaking of his arrival in September 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. How the fall season was postponed until the spring that season, pretty much making it an unorthodox seven-game spring season. So he’s seen it all since his arrival and rolled with the punches.
Just posted a photo https://t.co/MyJ6MTBQmi
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) September 2, 2022
Sanders Says All They Want Is a Little Glimmer Of Hope
After going 4-3 in the shortened spring season, Sanders and the Tigers came out with guns blazing in 2021, going 11-1 in the regular season, including 8-0 in SWAC play to win its first conference title since 2007. Although they lost in the Celebration Bowl, their play gave the city plenty of hope, and Sanders is leaning on that once again in time of crisis.
“All they want is a little hope. Just let them peek and see a little light and they’re gonna make it to the next day. And I promise you they’re going to be there. Ain’t nobody complaining. Ain’t nobody trippin. They might be uneasy because they want information. The governor, mayor are doing a phenomenal job to me in supporting that.”
“You get sound bites, so you really don’t hear the whole story. But all they want is hope and desire. And guess what? The Jackson State University football team gave them that. And we plan on giving them that.”
Not all will agree with what Coach Prime is saying, as many probably feel more can be done and faster to improve conditions. Sanders seems to be leaning on the football team’s success as a source of inspiration going forward. It’s definitely helped increase revenue around the city, among other improvements.
Jackson State Set To Unveil New Toys On Sunday
The Tigers are set to unveil a brand new offense under first-year offensive coordinator Brett Bartolone. They’re also set to unleash 2022 No. 1 overall recruit Travis Hunter who shunned his longstanding commitment to Sanders’ alma mater, Florida State, to join JSU. It’s also the second-year of reigning Jerry Rice Award winner Shedeur Sanders at the helm. He’ll be looking to rebound from an awful showing in the team’s 31-10 loss to South Carolina State in the Celebration Bowl.
The question to be answered this season is can Coach Prime and the Tigers run it back and close the deal this time?
It begins Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.
Read More TSL Stories: