Deion Sanders has done some remarkable things in a short time as the head coach of the Jackson State Tigers. He’s been able to build the JSU program into a SWAC power and destination for elite recruits. He’s blown the program up by making major noise on the recruiting side.
His ability to flip five-star recruits and excite them about an HBCU experience has encouraged plenty of conversations about how and why Coach Prime is able to do the impossible. But there’s no hocus pocus or million-dollar NIL deals in Deion’s recruiting pitch. In fact, Deion says he doesn’t have to sell any recruits on Jackson State.
A championship program isn't built overnight — but @DeionSanders and Jackson State University are making believers out of everybody.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 15, 2022
In a recent interview on “The Dan Patrick Show,” Sanders expounded on what he meant.
“I don’t have to sell you. I ain’t selling nothing. That’s the thing about it, I don’t sell anything. I don’t have anything to sell. I’m going to allow you to understand that I’ve sat on three sides of the table. I’ve been in the living room and I’m the parent, I’ve been the player, and now I’m the coach. That’s a heck of an advantage, because I know the thought process of everyone in the room. I’m not selling anything, but I’m going to promise you that if you send me a boy, I’m going to send you back a man.”
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) February 16, 2022
Message Worked In Landing Two Top 50 Recruits
In December, Sanders flipped the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit Travis Hunter, a long-standing Florida State commit. It sent shock waves through college athletics. Hunter is a cornerback and wide receiver who’s expected to see time at JSU playing both positions while providing star quarterback Shedeur Sanders with more weaponry. Hunter, the highest ranked prospect ever secured by an HBCU, was named MVP of the Polynesian Bowl last month.
The moment Travis Hunter made his decision to flip to Jackson State
— Rivals (@Rivals) December 15, 2021
Here’s what Coach Prime told Hunter when they first met via CBS Sports HQ:
“I just told him I has the navigation system to success — the kind of success he wants to attain. Wants to play offense and defense. Cool. No problem. You’ve got to work your butt off to get to that point to make sure that you are in great shape. Some of the nuances and intellectual things that we discussed privately were right on point with one another. I’m happy that we landed the No. 1 kid in the nation and he’s ready to go. He’s on campus right now working.”
Sanders has never been one to fear much, so his going after four-and five-star kids is because he truly believes he can sign them.
“HBCUs are now recruiting four-and five-star kids because they believe they can land them. They believe that they may not the same kind of resources, but the same level of coaching and the same wisdom and understanding that they can propel a kid into his destination. I’m happy that whole thought process has changed, and that’s all we’re trying to do is change minds.”
Sanders wasn’t done, as he then added the nation’s No. 4-ranked wide receiver and No. 44 ranked recruit, Kevin Coleman. Upon his commitment, Coleman had this to say to SI All-American about Coach Prime and JSU.
Breaking: #Rivals100 WR Kevin Coleman becomes the latest elite football prospect to commit to Jackson State
— Rivals (@Rivals) January 8, 2022
“I see everything that he [head coach Deion Sanders] is doing and I want to be a part of it. Coach Prime … to be coached by a person who has done it before. Why not? He can teach me. He did it in both sides, he did it on special teams, and he is a great person with great character.”
Those are direct examples of Coach Prime not having to sell himself or Jackson State, as he’s done it all, and that speaks volumes.
Sanders also reeled in 13 transfers, who are all in position to help the Tigers in year one.
Sanders And Jackson State Want More After Tasting Major Success In 2021
Entering year three, Sanders wants more after going 11-2 and winning the SWAC. The team played in the Celebration Bowl, coming up short against the South Carolina State Bulldogs. With a class like this coming, it looks like SWAC title and Celebration Bowl win or bust for the Tigers.
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) February 15, 2022
Sanders Wants To Be More Dominant In 2022: That Begins With Recruiting
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has always preached “no coach can out-coach recruiting.”
Coach Prime knows that, and in order to be dominant, winning on the recruiting trail is where it begins. Recruiting is imperative to compete at the highest level, and right now Sanders and JSU are doing it well — without the extra preservatives.
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