With the urging of Jackson State coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, former star NFL running back Eddie George took the plunge into coaching. George was hired as head football coach of the Tennessee State Tigers in April. The former Tennessee Titans running back still resides in Nashville, so it was a perfect fit. George was hesitant at first, but with some guidance and that push from Sanders, he decided to take the leap into the HBCU coaching realm.
Tennessee State is naming Eddie George its new head football coach, sources tell @ESPNRittenberg.
The news was first reported by Stadium. pic.twitter.com/6Hr1Y6m3lc
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 11, 2021
The Tigers went 5-6 in George’s first season on the sidelines, but the future is bright. George displayed a savvy and calm needed to be successful a head coach. That in itself bodes very well for him and Tennessee State.
During an interview on “The Rich Eisen Show,” George talked about a bevy of topics, including Coach Prime and his effect on HBCU football.
TSU welcomes former All Pro TN Titan and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George as head football coach. Go Big Blue! #continuingthelegacy pic.twitter.com/KKo32MwY0m
— Tennessee State University (@TSUedu) April 13, 2021
“I talk to Deion a lot,” George said.
“I talked to Deion during the process of me trying to figure out whether I was going to do this or not, and we talked maybe once a week just to see how he’s doing, I know he had some issues and I told him I was praying for him, but more importantly he’s telling me the best practices and things that he’s done to be successful. And the bottom line is this. Off the field our goal is to raise the profile, raise the standard of HBCU’s and say, ‘Hey, you know what, you don’t necessarily have to go to the Power Five schools to get your end goal. You can come to an HBCU, you can come to a different school and be all that you want to be and be very successful.’
“If you have aspirations of going to the next level and playing on the next level, they’re going to find you,” George added. “We have the resources to do that, we have the coaching to do that, we can coach guys for that level. So when I see him going after players that are going to Ohio State, Michigan or Florida State and able to bring them there, that’s what it’s all about.”
Coach Prime Making Noise In Recruiting:
After leading the Tigers to the program’s first 11-win season, a SWAC championship, a Celebration Bowl and record fan attendance (home and away), Deion’s influence extended beyond the field. The city of Jackson reported a football revenue increase from $16 million in 2019 to $30 million in 2021. The “Coach Prime Effect” has been felt throughout the entire SWAC and all of Black College Football.
Sanders wasn’t done. He then added the nation’s No. 1 recruit, Travis Hunter, and the No.4 ranked receiver in the nation, Kevin Coleman. He also added 11 transfers via the portal, bringing more quality depth to the JSU Tigers.
I BELIEVE @GoJSUTigersFB @barstoolsports @SMAC pic.twitter.com/jYDXU7keWX
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) December 15, 2021
Sanders has been busy, and that doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
Sanders Won First Meeting Versus George In Southern Heritage Bowl: Fans Come Out In Droves
Some 46,171 screaming HBCU football fans packed the Liberty Bowl in Memphis to see the JSU Tigers and Tennessee State Tigers do battle. They also came to see two former NFL greats coach their second collegiate games of the season. JSU won pretty handily (38-16), but it was so much more than a football game, it was an event.
Mark your calendar!! pic.twitter.com/vYWYB9ZV4p
— Southern Heritage Classic (@ClassicMemphis) September 12, 2021
Following the game Sanders had this to say via zoom.
“When I see 46,000 — and I talked about that with Eddie George last night — we’re thankful, we’re appreciative, but we want to do more. We wanted to be bigger, grander and better. A commitment to excellence. Coach George and I talked for quite a while last night just about that both teams, what I could do better, what he could do better, what we could present better, what we could do more of.
“That’s the kind of thought process that we had. And that’s the kind of thing that we bring into HBCU football.”
With Sanders and George, plus Hue Jackson at Grambling State and Bubba McDowell at Prairie View — maybe even Jerry Rice — HBCU football definitely has NFL experience being shared with its athletes, and these former stars on the field and current winners in life continue to make strides for the betterment of the BLACK student-athlete.
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