Jackson State Tigers head football coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is much healthier and more mobile than he was a few months ago.
But he’s still in recovery from toe surgery that caused blood clots which subsequently led to the former All-Pro cornerback having two toes amputated. Sanders is back moving around, walking, even two-stepping under his own power, but he also says he has a way to go before he’s 100 percent.
Coach Prime is on the comeback trail and can still get down as he recovers from foot surgery/toe amputation. 🙏🏿 Longtime love Tracey Edmonds is definitely an inspiration.
“We understand each other” pic.twitter.com/u3BNK8iv8a
— LA MAQUINA DE SOMBRAS (@FANalyst1) March 30, 2022
In an interview on the “Rich Eisen Show,” Sanders detailed the progress with his recovery.
“I’m moving slowly but surely and I’m moving briskly. I really am. I am on my elliptical again because I had lost 40 pounds, Rich. When I was in the hospital, I lost 40 pounds. I was eating nothing but applesauce. I lost 40 pounds, but I gained 50 back. Now I can’t fit in my suit, so I’ve gotta cut down.”
I told y’all we were gonna show it all in this documentary and that’s what this is. I got to warn ya This ain’t a pretty sight! I may have lost a couple soldiers in the battle but I never lost my faith in God! @barstoolsports @SMAC pic.twitter.com/dkjD83IAnL
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) March 8, 2022
Sanders’ children had constant jokes about his skinny legs following the surgeries, and Coach Prime says he won’t be showing them in public anytime soon. That’s a change for Sanders who can often be seen stalking the sidelines and practice fields with his legs exposed.
“My kids told me it looked like a shark bit me on both sides of my leg. I don’t think you’ll see me in shorts anytime soon … I promise you. But I’m better. But there was a lot going on last season. You know what, that’s the best kept secret we ever kept in life.”
Sanders didn’t make his health complications public, as he didn’t want pity or to be a bigger distraction to his team. His being absent from the team for three weeks in the middle of an historic season was already emotionally challenging for everyone.
Sanders Missed Three Games Because Of Setback Following Surgery: Returned Against Southern
Coach Prime underwent surgery for a dislocated toe in September. He didn’t miss any time, as he was right back on the sidelines following the procedure, despite doctor’s orders to take it easy.
Sanders’ stubbornness led to him developing life-threatening blood clots, which landed him in the hospital. Those clots became a life-or-death matter, as he nearly lost his leg and his life.
The world knew Sanders was hospitalized, but his amputations were kept under tight wraps until Sanders detailed the ordeal on his show “Coach Prime,” a series directed and produced by SMAC Entertainment in conjunction with Barstool Sports.
While Sanders was out, the team went 3-0 under the direction of assistant head coach and running backs coach Gary “Flea” Harrell. After some urging and inspiration from his son and quarterback Shedeur, Coach Prime returned to the sidelines for the Tigers SWAC East division-clinching win over Southern.
Sanders had this to say after the victory and finally being back on the sidelines with his team.
“It’s no coincidence, just think about it, we scored 21 points which is a heck of a sign from the Lord to me,” said Sanders, who used a pimped out motorbike to get around in style. “Shedeur did what he did, (my other son) Shilo closed it out. If that wasn’t God having his hand around me and around us in that particular game, then I don’t know what it was.”
Team Success In 2021: Spring Ball Is In Effect
The 2021 JSU Tigers won their first SWAC title since 2007 while posting the first 11-win season in school history. They also made an appearance in the Celebration Bowl. Sanders was named the Eddie Robinson Award winner, given annually to the top coach in FCS (Football Championship Subdivision). Shedeur won the Jerry Rice Award, given annually to the top freshman in FCS. Sanders also flipped the nation’s No.1 overall recruit (Travis Hunter), one other top-50 recruit (Kevin Coleman) and recently offered the top two running back prospects in the country.
The Tigers also landed 14 impact transfers, four of whom were former four-star recruits.
Part of Sanders’ genius is his ability to connect everyday situations to football and inspire self-discovery that becomes invaluable to the young men he is leading.
Coach Prime even used the recent incident at the Oscars (Will Smith smacks Chris Rock) to ask his players and staff “If you were Chris Rock, how would you have handled ‘The Slap?” He’s always looking for a higher understanding of his entire unit.
— Andscape (@andscape) March 29, 2022
Advocating for HBCUs and doing whatever he can to gain HBCU athletes more exposure to NFL scouts is always on his agenda, especially as the spring season gets underway.
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) March 10, 2022
Now Coach Prime is back stalking the sidelines and practice field in spring practice with the same zest and fervor we’ve come to know.