If we are to take him as his word, Deion Sanders’s time as Jackson State’s head coach is less a job than a calling. God put him in Jackson to elevate the lives of young Black men in particular and HBCUs in general.
“I believe that a child that has D1 potential or Power 5 potential that they can now choose Jackson State,” he said at his introductory press conference in September.
“I believe that our coaching staff is going to go into every hood, every barbershop, every soul food joint, every nook and cranny and recruit these dogs, because we have 99 players that have been drafted into the NFL. I believe under my watch we’re going to have 100. I believe, with your help, with your assistance, that we can be a pillar of all HBCUs.”
With a stated goal of getting at least one Tiger into the NFL Draft, the 2021 draft has been officially marked a failure after Jackson State and the entirety of HBCUs were shut out.
“And we have the Audacity to Hate on one another while our kids are being NEGLECTED & REJECTED,” he wrote on Instagram. “I witnessed a multitude of kids that we played against that were more than qualified to be drafted. My prayers are that This won’t EVER happen again. Get yo knife out my back and fight with me not against me!”
That last sentence is a not-at-all-veiled subtweet at his SWAC rivals, a number of whom took shots at him this spring.
“I’d have told him to recruit some more 5-stars. He’s talking about all them four- and five-stars he recruits. You’re not the only one recruiting five-stars- and four-stars; we do, too,” Alabama A&M head coach Connell Maynor said, imagining advice he’d give Coach Prime after his team’s 54-23 drubbing of Jackson State. “Let’s go. We got guys coming back next year, too. Everybody waiting for next year.”
The eye roll-inducing part of this if you’re a SWAC rival is that it implies you also aren’t trying to do the exact same thing Deion is but, if and when a SWAC player gets drafted, Deion’s positioned himself to get the credit.
In other words, it’s Peak Deion, Coach Prime at his Coach Primest.
Looking forward to his first full season this fall. In the meantime, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.