We already know the legend of Deion Sanders all too well. How the former NFL superstar embarked on an HBCU journey that many called impossible and for which some even ridiculed him for having the audacity to attempt.
Fast-forward to October 2022, and Sanders’ name is hot like fish grease when it comes to potential hires for new Power Five openings. Everybody wants a piece of the Prime shine.
Sanders is doing his thing at Jackson State. The reigning Eddie Robinson Award winner is leading a Jackson State Tigers team that’s outscored its first four opponents this season 190-37 en route to a 4-0 start.
Sanders has also proven his prowess on the recruiting trail as he outdueled numerous Power Five programs to land the nation’s No.1 overall recruit Travis Hunter. He also added Kevin Coleman, another top-50 recruit, making the JSU the first FCS program to land two top-50 recruits in the same class since the era of the composite rankings.
For his efforts, Sanders’ name has frequently been mentioned in numerous Power Five openings, the latest being Georgia Tech. During Monday’s SWAC coach’s media day availability, Sanders reacted to all the attention.
“I think this may be the first time — historically — that a Black man has been mentioned in that aspect at the rate that we’ve been mentioned. Ever. I’m happy. I’m elated that colleges would feel as though I got it. I know what I’m doing. That’s a blessing, man.”
Sanders referred to the newfound interest in him as a “game changer.”
Coach Prime Speaks Of Elevation: It’s Vital To Him
The word elevation means to go to a higher level, and while Sanders hasn’t said that he’s ready to do so, just being mentioned as a candidate for different opportunities means he’s doing something right at JSU.
“You gotta understand because I’m all about elevation, I’m all about going to the next level. So to be mentioned is unbelievable. It coincides with what I’ve been preaching since the day I arrived. I believe. I believe in changing the game. Just to mentioned is a game changer.”
Coach Prime was battling health problems that almost cost him his leg last year, but that didn’t stop the JSU Tigers from excelling. It didn’t deter schools such as Colorado State, TCU and others, from pursuing him. His name has swirled around the current openings at Arizona State, Georgia Tech and even Colorado to a lesser degree. While Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin still has a job, his seat is very warm and there’s been some real chatter about Coach Prime replacing him if he’s fired.
The belief is Coach Prime won’t be leaving JSU anytime soon, but his name is being mentioned. Right now, he and his family are entrenched in Jackson, Mississippi.
"You're going to hear the name Deion Sanders… They believe in bringing Deion in and letting him do at Georgia Tech what Pittman's done at Arkansas."@LateKickJosh explains why you shouldn't laugh at the idea of Prime Time at Georgia Tech. @TheHiveGT pic.twitter.com/YVjSQKnt3U
— 247Sports (@247Sports) September 21, 2022
Sanders Has Assembled A Power Five Ready Staff
Since his ascension into the college coaching ranks, Sanders has surrounded himself with quality assistants. Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman was once a pretty successful NFL defensive coordinator. His schemes are dynamic and would look great at the Power Five level. This past offseason Sanders improved Jackson State’s offense by adding Brett Bartolone from Nevada to run the “Air Raid” offense with Deion’s youngest son and reigning Jerry Rice award winner Shedeur at the helm. The offense has a Power Five flair to it, up-tempo and aggressive.
In August Coach Prime told the AP this as it pertains to leaving for a Power Five gig:
“I don’t look that far down the street I dominate the moment.”
More proof that Coach Prime isn’t ready to leave HBCU football. He’s got so much more to accomplish, but he admits the flattery is welcomed and brings attention to his current program.
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