Coaches have two options when dealing with the transfer portal — to fear it or embrace it. Deion Sanders has chosen to embrace it.
Jackson State has brought in close to a dozen transfers since his arrival, and the Tigers aren’t done. But as the portal giveth, so it takeths away.
When players inevitably want to leave Jackson State, Deion has a plan in place.
“If a kid thinks it’s best to be here, go do it. If a kid thinks it’s best to be elsewhere, you need to go do it. Because we don’t want anyone to be here unhappy,” he said during the SWAC’s virtual media day on Wednesday.
“I told them yesterday, if you want to opt out, you don’t have to wait to opt out. I’ve got a seat in the meeting room called ‘The Portal.’ We can put you there right now. You don’t have to wait. You don’t have to surprise me. Right there. They go in the portal right there.”
The Portal — the actual Portal, the chair in the meeting room — serves two purposes. It forces prospective transfers to put their rear where their mouth is and declare both with their words and their actions that they intend to leave Jackson State. It also begins the process of Jackson State helping them find a new destination.
“I’ll walk you over and sit you right down in there and put a seatbelt on you and give you a video to sell you,” he continued. “I’m gonna tell all the good things about you. If you don’t want to be here, I will help you leave.”
Deion closed the thought by explaining why he doesn’t fight it when kids approach him about transferring.
“I need the spot anyway,” he said.