You can’t say Deion Sanders, aka “Prime Time,” doesn’t have a sense of humor.
Sanders, the head coach of Jackson State football, received fake prosthetic feet from his friend Sam this week. The two buddies and a woman inside the facility, shared a good laugh about the late birthday gift, coming a week after Sanders turned 55 on Aug. 9. Prime had two toes amputated earlier this year after complications resulting from foot surgery.
“I like that! Y’all got jokes,” said Sanders. “Thank you. I really feel complete now.”
The massive rubber feet happened to be white and, according to Sam, Prime joked that he wanted two white prosthetic toes. Looks like Sam took it up a level and opted for two new feet for his friend.
Prime underwent surgery for a dislocated toe along with an inflamed nerve in September 2021. Over the next several month’s the Pro Football Hall of Famer had eight surgeries in total. He developed a femoral arterial blood clot. He also had compartment syndrome, which meant his leg swelled, and doctors had to flay open his leg to drain fluid.
Prime is one of the greatest athletes in American history. In the NFL he was an eight-time All-Pro, two-time Super Bowl champ, and Defensive Player of the Year.
He played nine part-time seasons in Major League Baseball. In 1992, his best season, as a member of the Atlanta Braves Prime hit .304, stole 26 bases, and led the NL with 14 triples in 97 games. In four games of the 1992 World Series, Sanders batted .533 with four runs, eight hits, two doubles, and one RBI while playing with a broken bone in his foot.
To do that as a part-time player is one of the more incredible sports accomplishments in history.
These days Prime is focused on his work as head coach at JSU. He’s hoping to bring more awareness to HBCUs through athletics. He’s had success early, winning the SWAC title in just his second season at the helm.
Currently, the JSU football facilities are undergoing renovations, and Prime is hoping they’ll be ready in time for the season. He’s even donating some of his salary to ensure that the renovations are completed in time.
There will also be a new addition to the coaching staff at JSU this fall. Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer will serve as an analyst.
“He’s asked me about it a few times. The pay is not good,” Zimmer said with a grin. “But I do love Deion and I’d do anything for him.”
Zimmer and Prime go all they way back to their days as members of the Dallas Cowboys. The opportunity to work with his former star defender was simply too much to pass up for Zimmer, who knows how fortunate the JSU football team is to be coached by Prime.
“He can open up so many doors for these young men but I’m extremely impressed with the way he’s teaching them about life and not just football,” Zimmer said. “And taking care of them, and talking to them about the real things that go on in the world and not the fluff stuff.”
Jackson State will open the season against Florida A&M on Sept. 4 in Miami.