When he was introduced as Jackson State's head coach on Sept. 22, Deion Sanders indicated he'd have his staff in place by late October or early November. Safe to say, the timeline has shifted.
As we sit here with Thanksgiving on the horizon, Coach Prime has made three outside hires -- LaToya Williams as director of football operations and special assistant to the head coach, CJ White as the head strength coach for football, and Gary "Flea" Harrell. TC Taylor and Otis Riddley remain on from the previous staff.
Williams has deep connections in the SWAC and worked previously for Sanders at Prime Prep Academy. White formerly worked on the strength staffs at SMU and Arkansas State after graduating from Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2018.
That still leaves seven spots on the on-field coaching staff -- including the entire defensive staff -- plus key off-field positions such as personnel director, graduate assistants and quality control coaches.
Dennis Thurman, defensive coordinator
Jason Phillips, offensive coordinator
Alan Ricard, running backs coach
Mario Edwards, Sr., defensive backs coach
That puts the Jackson State staff up to seven, leaving three open slots at this time.
The interesting thing here is that Sanders has repeatedly stated in public appearances his staff will have 84 years of NFL playing and coaching experience, a precise number implying Deion has had his guys in place for a while.
Part of the delay is likely due to simple logistics. Phillips, for instance, is still coaching at Utah State, and it's likely the remaining staff members are still coaching as well.
Sanders will report to Jackson State for full-time work on Dec. 1, so expect announcements to come around that date. Expect those hires to be names you know.
And in case there was any question on this point, FootballScoop can confirm Sanders will continue his work with Barstool Sports while Jackson State is in season.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.