JSU star quarterback Shedeur Sanders has been playing lights-out so far this season. The strong-armed sophomore has passed for 1,381 yards, 14 touchdowns and just one interception. In Saturday’s 49-7 shellacking of MVSU, Sanders reached career highs in yards with 425, completions with 40, and his 78 percent completion percentage was the best he’s ever had in a collegiate game.
In doing so, Shedeur, the reigning Jerry Rice Award winner, given annually to the top freshman in FCS football, has started this season on fire and is gaining more and more national attention.
As a result of his play, Coach Prime believes his son should be getting some Heisman consideration. During Monday’s SWAC Media Day conference call, Deion Sanders has this to say about his son and QB.
“When you put his numbers up next to the guys at Power Fives, he’s doing as much or more than they’re doing right now. So when they start talking about Heisman — which I saw before the previous game — I got upset that they didn’t mention us, period. Forget that he’s my son, that his last name is Sanders — any other man doing what he’s doing and accomplishing what he’s accomplishing this far, this early on — deserves recognition.”
Deion Overhyping His Son
Deion is wrong in his take. While Shedeur and JSU are dominating FCS Black college football that doesn’t equate to being recognized for the Heisman. The defenses Shedeur is doing this stuff against aren’t anywhere in the same league as Power Five defenses.
For some perspective, not since 1994 has a player from an FCS received Heisman recognition, and then it was unheard of. Sanders justified his bold statement by saying that no way Shedeur can be a NFL prospect but not a Heisman candidate.
“You can’t tell me he can play in the NFL, but he’s not good enough to be in the Heisman running. That’s a lie.”
Sounds to me JSU will try to make a statement during Alabama State homecoming.
— SWAC BUZZ (@SwacBuzz) September 26, 2022
Jackson State, under the leadership of Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, and his son Shedeur have taken the college football by storm. The last two seasons combined they’ve gone 15-2, winning their first SWAC championship since 2007. This season, the Tigers have come out and dismantled their first four opponents in FAMU, Tennessee State, Grambling State and Mississippi Valley State by outscoring them a combined 190-37.
— Tiger Talk with the 1400 Klub – The Podcast (@TigerTalk1400) September 26, 2022
Steve McNair Last FCS Player To Get Heisman Pub
Only two former FCS players have ever received Heisman votes. They were Doug Williams of Grambling State in the 1970s and the late Steve McNair at Alcorn State in the 1990s. In fact, McNair actually finished third behind the 1994 winner, the late Rahsaan Salaam and runner-up Ki-Jana Carter. Both running backs played at Power Five programs.
Houston Cougars quarterback Andre Ware in 1989 and BYU Cougars quarterback Ty Detmer in 1990 are the last two to win it that weren’t from Power Five conferences. It is notable that both of these unheralded QBs ran high-powered record-breaking offenses which elevated them to national acclaim.
And now I've come across my Steve McNair Alcorn State jersey. Some things I just can't let go of…. pic.twitter.com/5AoyqVjxBp
— Paul Zeise (@PaulZeise) June 10, 2017
It’s OK for Coach Prime to champion for his son and QB, but his body of work against some pretty pedestrian competition doesn’t put him on anyone’s Heisman radar.
Shedeur Is Lining Himself Up To Be In The Walter Payton Award Race
The FCS equivalent to the Heisman Trophy is the Walter Payton Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
Sanders is a prime candidate to take that award or at least be a finalist for it. Playing in the new “air raid of the south” offense under offensive coordinator Brett Bartolone should only continue to enhance Shedeur’s chances at posting Player of the Year-worthy numbers.
With Sanders being just a true sophomore, he will have several more opportunities to sweep the FCS awards and maybe even get himself on some Heisman boards by senior year, but he’d have to obliterate college passing records to do it. That still might not be enough.
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