The college football world is still in a bit of shock with Deion Sanders and the Jackson State Tigers flipping the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit Travis Hunter. On the morning of December 15, 2021, all was expected to go as normal during the early signing period of college football’s 2022 recruiting cycle.
All of a sudden, a monkey wrench was thrown into the best-laid plans as Sanders and JSU entered the fold. They flipped Hunter a long-standing Florida State commit. FSU just so happens to be Coach Prime’s alma mater. Sanders warned us that something transformative was going to happen the day before.
“Signing day is tomorrow,” Sanders said. “I’m going on record to tell you guys, we’re gonna shock the country.”
Sanders wasn’t lying as he shook up college football recruiting as we know it. Prior to Sunday’s landmark spring game which was televised nationally on ESPNU, Hunter talked about why he chose Jackson State over Florida State.
“They were straight with me. They didn’t play no games, they came right at me.”
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) December 16, 2021
Hunter Is A Two-Way Stud: Prides Himself In Playing Cornerback
While Hunter is a player who excels at both cornerback and wide receiver, his position at the next level will be corner. In today’s NFL you don’t see many guys playing both ways. Not since his coach Deion Sanders did it for the Dallas Cowboys back in the 1990s have we seen anyone attempt to play both sides of the ball consistently.
In a March interview, Hunter went into detail about playing the position.
“I take a lot of pride in playing corner. You have to be really competitive to play corner, and I’m really competitive. I just play receiver because I know I can get open. I don’t think anybody can guard me at receiver.”
Hunter had his full arsenal on display in Sunday’s spring game tallying two touchdown receptions and two interceptions when he switched to defense. He gave the entire SWAC something to stress about, as he can affect games on either side of the football. What’s scary is he can also return kicks and punts, although it’s highly unlikely Coach Prime would put him in that type danger so early in his career.
Travis Hunter making his impact right away on the Jackson St offense.
📺 ESPNU pic.twitter.com/zEW4hM7mf6
— Andscape (@andscape) April 24, 2022
Hunter Is That Ace Of Spades: He Stands Out From The Rest Of The Deck
You don’t become the nation’s top recruit by being average, and Hunter isn’t average at anything. He’s a ballhawk on defense, and on offense he’s already a good route runner capable of taking the top off the defense. He plays with great leverage and sound fundamentals; one would have to believe the tutelage of Sanders and his coaching will only refine Hunter’s skill set.
For first-year offensive coordinator Brett Bartolone and Coach Prime, keeping Hunter solely on defense doesn’t seem plausible at all. While their offense has plenty of weaponry with Shedeur, Malachi Wideman, Kevin Coleman and a host of other talented players, none of them can do what Hunter does effortlessly.
Travis Hunter with an INTERCEPTION!
— For The Culture HBCU (@4theculturehbcu) April 24, 2022
It’s a great dilemma to have, and Coach Prime will handle it correctly, while getting the most out of his prize recruit without putting him at risk either.
Get ya popcorn ready!