“There’s Not A White Coach That Can … Do What Deion Did” | Terrell Owens Praises Primetime For Travis Hunter Commitment

Image Credit: Twitter @ESPNCFB screen shot

When Deion Sanders told the world he was bringing “Primetime” to Jackson State University, the world should have believed him the first time.

Sanders convinced Travis Hunter, the No. 1 overall prospect in the recruiting rankings era, to flip the commitment switch from Florida State to Jackson State University. Sanders is now positioned as the HBCU athletics new school leader.

It’s Primetime

The historic decision came from Coach Prime’s ability to sell more than a solid football program; he sells legacy.

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“Jerry Rice, Doug Williams, and of course the legend, JSU’s own Walter Payton. Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a rich history in football,” Hunter wrote in a statement explaining his decision.

“I want to be a part of that history, and more, I want to be a part of that future. I am making this decision so I can light the way for others to follow, make it a little easier for the next player to recognize that HBCUs may be everything you want and more: an exciting college experience, a vital community, and a life-changing place to play football.”

T.O. Speaks

Around the fraternal brotherhood of professional football, former NFL legends weigh in on the unique impact that Sanders has brought to the HBCU ranks.

Six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Terrell “T.O.” Owens has co-signed Sanders’ recruitment abilities, stamping the Hunter coup as a feat only Primetime could pull off.

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“[For Deion to] go into that young man’s home who looks like him and have the conversation with his mom, there’s not a white coach that can go into a Black man’s home and do what Deion did, that’s very special,” said Owens on a HANG video chat.

Mission: HBCU

Sanders has stated multiple times that his mission is to elevate the HBCU playing field, and he is doing it exponentially faster than expected.

“I’m tired of HBCUs talking about the way it used to be,” Sanders said at a recent news conference. “I’m about the way it’s going to be.”

“You’ve seen one recruit,” Sanders said. “We wanted him to get all the shine, all the glory, every darn thing he deserves. Don’t think we don’t have nothing else in the chamber. We’re just waiting.”

New Rules

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, many top recruits chose HBCUs. However, Sanders solidified the choice and started a new era of coaching that mixes pop culture with on-field brilliance.

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“They got to have someone like Deion with them to relate for them,” said Doug Williams on the HANG video chat. Williams is the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

Sanders has single-handedly helped legitimize the HBCU football ranks beyond the Black community. Additionally, his son Shedeur has taken advantage of the opportunity and is now a Beats By Dre ambassador and recipient of a host of other opportunities that usually go to recruits attending predominantly white institutions.

HBCU Pride

“I get sick of people talking about a kid as if we’re not good enough,” Sanders said. “That’s all of us, like we’re not good enough for a kid that has four or five stars. That don’t make no sense to me. We’re more than good enough.”

Jackson State has four Pro Football Hall of Famers. This is more than traditional “storied” organizations like Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Florida, and Auburn.

The Coach Prime effect is real. Sanders has the panache to change an antiquated system for the better.

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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.