Former Raiders and Browns head coach Hue Jackson has resurfaced at one of the most storied HBCU programs in history.
Add Jackson — a former respected head coach and football mind, who was given a raw deal in Cleveland and eventually let go in the aftermath of historic losing and a power struggle concerning rookie No. 1 overall pick QB Baker Mayfield — to the list of major names who have taken the reins and immediately raised the profile of an HBCU.
The Grambing State Tigers Football program is rich in tradition, from the great Eddie Robinson to former Super Bowl-winning QB Doug Williams, and whole lot more talent in between. But the team just suffered a 4-7 season and went 3-5 in the SWAC while programs like Jackson State have soared. Broderick Fobbs accomplished a lot since he was hired in 2013, with two SWAC titles, two Celebration Bowls and one Black College Football National Championship. He was also named SWAC Coach of the Year three times while posting a 54-32 record.
GSU Announces Press Conference Set For Friday https://t.co/1x7buVdX7e
— GSU_Tigers (@GSU_TIGERS) December 8, 2021
But the GSU Tigers decided to move in a different direction. You could call it the Deion Sanders or “Coach Prime” effect, and it can be looked at as good or bad depending on which side of the employment line you fall on, “newly hired or newly fired.”
Either way, HBCU football is the beneficiary of this newfound onslaught of hiring former legendary players and high-level, experienced coaches with real pedigrees.
Enter Jackson, a respected coach with over 30 years of experience at the NFL and college level.
— GSU_Tigers (@GSU_TIGERS) December 10, 2021
Jackson Career Timeline: He’s Been A Lot Of Places
Jackson, a noted offensive guru with a serious of coaching résumé, began his career in 1987, with most of his early experience coming as either head coach or offensive coordinator at his stops. Those stops include Pacific, Cal-State Fullerton, London Monarchs (WLAF/ World League Of American Football), Arizona State, USC, Washington Football Team, Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens.
His most recent NFL gigs were head coach of the Oakland Raiders, where he went 8-8 in his one season in 2011. And the Cleveland Browns (2016-18), where he went a paltry 3-36-1. He had a highly publicized breakup on the shore of Lake Erie, which led him to tell about the debacle of a franchise lying to him while he was there.
Jackson went on radio in March to discuss how that went down …
“There’s no doubt, I was lied to by ownership and leadership,” said Jackson, claiming he received a contract extension in the middle of a 0-16 season in 2017 that wasn’t announced by the franchise.
Mayfield Fake Beef With A Respected Long-Time Coach
Jackson’s tenuous relationship with 2018 No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield didn’t help him keep his job in Cleveland. Mayfield believed he should’ve been starting much earlier than he did his rookie season. Jackson didn’t. Things didn’t get much better after he was relieved of his duties by the Browns as he joined the archival Bengals almost immediately, much to the chagrin of the extremely overrated Mayfield.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) November 25, 2018
Jackson responded in his typical and calm demeanor never once taking the low road, when he could’ve.
“I don’t look at it and say I’m really disappointed by it because at the end of the day, Baker has to do what he thinks is best for his football team.”
Hue Jackson on criticism from Baker Mayfield pic.twitter.com/4Au095vGls
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) July 18, 2019
Eddie George Hires Jackson As OC At Tennessee State
The “Coach Prime effect” also played a role in Jackson’s hiring at Grambling. Sanders just led the Tigers to their first SWAC title in 14 years (2007) and their first-ever Celebration Bowl berth. Maybe GSU is looking to to set a Coach Prime type-model to follow.
Last month the Alabama State Hornets reportedly reached out to Sanders for direction about their vacancy, which was filled by Eddie Robinson Jr.
— Coach Eddie Robinson Jr. (@erob50) November 27, 2021
Many believe Coach Prime also had his hands in this move as well by suggesting that they hire the son of a legendary coach who is also a graduate. The move was made the next day. Deion is so confident he even helps out the competition.
Everything he touches seems to be turning to gold right now. In his words: “I can’t lose.”
— GSU_Tigers (@GSU_TIGERS) December 10, 2021
Jackson Will Have Plethora Of Talent At His Disposal Including QB Noah Bodden
Jackson already has his superstar QB. Noah Bodden is a three-star QB from the 2021 recruiting class. The 6-foot-4 gunslinger hails from Christ The King Regional High School in New York. He has an NFL arm already and slick footwork in the pocket. Bodden turned down offers from Power 5 schools like Oregon, Baylor, Arizona State, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Purdue to join the Tigers. Bodden has pro potential. Some say he might be the best Grambling QB since Doug Williams. Receiving tutelege from a seasoned pro like Jackson should do wonders for Bodden and GSU.
A prototypical pro-style quarterback is just what Jackson needs to run his pro-style, multiple-shift offense. If he and Bodden play their cards right and mesh, this could be the ticket both are looking for as far getting to the NFL. Jackson wants back in the league.
— KTVE – KARD (@MyArkLaMiss) October 5, 2021
They could put the SWAC on notice, as Bodden’s talent is in the realm of rival Jackson State’s award-winning gunslinger Shedeur Sanders.
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