The 2022 Jackson State Tigers have jumped out to a 4-0 start behind starting quarterback Shedeur Sanders and a dominant defense. Sanders, the reigning Jerry Rice award winner, given annually to the top freshman in all of Football Championship Subdivision, has been magnificent this season. The 2021 four-star recruit who flipped from Florida Atlantic to play for his Hall of Fame dad has passed for nearly 1,400 yards, 14 touchdowns and just one interception. He’s also reached career-highs in completions with 40, in attempts with 51 and in yards with 438 in the Tigers new “Air Raid” attack.
For his efforts Coach Prime believes his youngest son deserves some Heisman recognition.
The Heisman has long been given to the best player in Football Bowl Subdivision, so for a player from the FCS to win it would be unprecedented. At the FCS level, the top award is the Walter Payton Award, named after the former JSU Tigers legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer. If Shedeur continues his great play he has a shot at winning the Walter Payton award, but Coach Prime believes he’s in line to have a shot at winning the Heisman as well, which is farfetched even for a dreamer like Coach Prime.
During his weekly SWAC media availability, Sanders had this to say.
“I think we’re in it. We did what we wanted to do.”
“Now you get to put on Tupac ‘All Eyez On Me.’ Shedeur gets to play that song. Now he has to just what he’s been doing thus far. I like his maturation. I like his growth. First and foremost, I love the way the line has protected him and receivers are doing their job as well. Coach, Brett Bartolone is calling a heck of a game.”
Sanders is speaking of how he’s hyped and promoted his star quarterback over the last few weeks in hopes of getting voters to pay attention to him.
Black College Football Player of the Year Spotlight: @GoJSUTigersFB QB Shedeur Sanders had 40 completions for 438 yards and 4 TDs in the Tigers win over Mississippi Valley State pic.twitter.com/jcjmN8YfS7
— BlackCollegeFootball (@BCFHOF) September 28, 2022
Is it working? That remains to be seen, as Shedeur’s name hasn’t appeared on any of the weekly Heisman hopeful lists.
Shedeur And JSU Will Play At Alabama State For Their Homecoming
The Swarmin’ Hornets of Alabama State will play host to Coach Prime’s Tigers this weekend. In a sellout where over 26,000 fans are expected, first year Hornets coach and former NFL linebacker Eddie Robinson Jr, will look to stymie the SWAC’s top offense, with his third-ranked defense. Coach Prime believes if his guys come ready to play it won’t be close.
“If we go out there, we dominate and we what we do with no turnovers it’s not going to be a game.”
It’s also another opportunity for Shedeur to add to his unbelievable season. Sanders is thriving under first-year offensive coordinator Brett Bartolone who arrived from Nevada and has incorporated the “Air Raid” attack that’s giving the SWAC fits.
— Wakil Atig (@wakilmatic) September 27, 2022
JSU has outscored opponents 190-37 in four games this season, an average of 47.5 to 9.25, which spells utter domination.
Coach Prime And Shedeur Credit Bartolone’s Arrival As The Biggest Difference This Season
In 2021, Shedeur was great starting as a true freshman, passing for over 3,200 yards, 30 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. But this season under Bartolone, Shedeur looks cleaner and is more precise with his decision-making. It’s been nearly perfect and that’s a direct product of film study and translating it to the field.
Shedeur spoke recently about how Bartolone’s coaching style allows him to see the game from a different lens.
“Whenever you watch film and you have different viewpoints or coaches around you that all played the game then it is different.”
“It helps me because it trains my mind to see exactly what he’s seeing. To know why he is calling this play. When he’s calling this passing concept, what is he thinking exactly. There’s always a reason for things.”
Heisman watch 👀
JSU’s Shedeur Sanders (@ShedeurSanders) is on par with consensus top QBs ⭐️ @HeismanTrophy @JayWalkerSky @CraigHaubert @SInow @On3Recruits @247Sports @ESPNCFB @GoJSUTigersFB @DeionSanders pic.twitter.com/WtEmMwdzIa
— The Underclassman Report (@TheUCReport) September 26, 2022
Shedeur is playing great and it’s likely to continue, but the level of competition just won’t allow him to even get an invite to New York for the Heisman festivities. But the Walter Payton award is very much in play for the strong-armed leader of the JSU Tigers offense.
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