Deion Sanders On How He Lured Travis Hunter To Jackson State: ‘I Don’t Know If Anybody Else In The Country Would Have Played Him Both Ways, We Will’

(Jackson State University via Getty Images)

 

When Deion Sanders turned the recruiting world upside down by flipping No. 1 overall prospect Travis Hunter, one key factor in securing the commitment was Sanders’ willingness to let Hunter play both ways. 

Hunter was a long-standing Florida State commit before flipping during the early signing period in December. Sanders starred at Florida State before embarking on a Hall of Fame career in the NFL, which saw him utilized in all three phases of the game: offense, defense and special teams. Sanders believes that one of his major advantages in getting the dynamic Hunter to Jackson, Mississippi, instead of Tallahassee, Florida, was the possibility of playing both ways. Sanders knew that was the wild card. 

 

Sanders addressed the situation with Hunter during an appearance on ESPN. 

“After seeing our spring game, you start to understand, okay, I played two ways and this kid’s a two-way player and I know how to handle this kid. I understand his needs and wants and his athletic ability, also his conditioning and what he wants from the game. It was very apparent of just seeing him and how he moves and plays. I don’t know if anybody else in the country would have started the kid both ways, but we will. I’m only going to do that if he’s ready and he’s in shape with his conditioning and he has a grasp on both playbooks, offensively and defensively. I could only obtain that and understand that because I’ve been there and done that.”

Hunter Showed Out In The Spring Game: Both Ways

If there were any questions about Hunter’s ability to play both ways, he put those doubts to rest in the team’s spring game. The dynamic Hunter caught two touchdowns on offense, switched jerseys and proceeded to intercept two passes playing cornerback.

On offense Hunter dazzles with elite deep speed, sound technique and great hands. But it’s on defense where he really stands out. He takes pride in locking up opposing receivers, good at using his hands and turning his hips, rarely opening up too soon. All signs of a technically sound defensive back.

‘He Wants All The Smoke, All Of It’| Deion Sanders Raves About New JSU Recruits, Historic Spring Game On ESPNU

In an interview in March, Hunter talked about his love for playing both positions, but says if he had to choose, cornerback would \take precedence.

“I take a lot of pride in playing corner. You have to be really competitive to play corner, and I’m really competitive. I just play receiver because I know I can get open. I don’t think anybody can guard me at receiver.”

Hunter oozes with the type confidence that Coach Prime loves to see.

Tigers Air Raid Attack Should Light Up The Scoreboard

Jackson State is implementing a new “Air Raid” offensive attack under first-year offensive coordinator Brett Bartolone. The offense will be looking to get the football out of quarterback Shedeur Sanders’ hands quickly, while stressing the opposing defense by using the entire length and width of the field. 

With weaponry like the aforementioned Hunter, Kevin Coleman (another top-50 recruit) and 6-5 returning target Malachi Wideman, who caught 12 touchdowns last season, the Tigers are primed to put up video game-like numbers some weeks.

Coach Prime wants to dominate, and that begins with running the ball and establishing the line of scrimmage, something they didn’t too well last season. But with all the added lineman via the transfer portal, the belief is they’ll be able to run it at will, which will open up the passing game even more. Something Hunter and his pass catching mates will love.