Deion Sanders and Jackson State have pulled off a signing day shocker.
— Travis Hunter (@TravisHunterJr) December 15, 2021
Hunter, a two-way player listed by Rivals as an athlete, was committed to Florida State since March of 2020. There was also speculation that the Suwanee, Georgia, native could flip his decision to the in-state Bulldogs. Instead, he will drop down to the FCS level to play for Sanders at Jackson State, an HBCU located in Jackson, Mississippi.
Sanders, of course, was a star at Florida State before embarking on a Hall of Fame NFL career. Now he has pulled off arguably the biggest recruiting surprise in recent memory at his alma mater’s expense.
Hunter announced his decision during a ceremony at his school early Wednesday afternoon. Hunter had Florida State, Georgia and Auburn hats in front of him but threw those to the side and had his mother toss him a Jackson State hat to make it official. Hunter then unzipped his jacket to reveal a Jackson State T-shirt.
— Rivals (@Rivals) December 15, 2021
This isn’t the first time Sanders has lured players with Power Five offers to Jackson State. Last year, De’Jahn Warren, a top junior college cornerback, signed with Jackson State after previously committing to Georgia. Jackson State also signed four-star tackle Javonte Gardner, four-star defensive tackle Katron Evans, four-star receiver Trevonte Rucker, three-star defensive tackle Braezhon Ross and three-star linebacker Baron Hopson in its 2021 recruiting class. All of those players had offers from Power Five programs, but chose Jackson State.
That recruiting prowess has paid off so far. Sanders is currently in his second season as the head coach at Jackson State. The Tigers have an 11-1 record and won the SWAC title. They are set to square off against South Carolina State, the MEAC champions, in the Celebration Bowl on Saturday in Atlanta.
How long Sanders, who has a 15-4 record as a head coach, will stay at Jackson State remains to be seen. He has reportedly interviewed for multiple Power Five jobs, including TCU in the most recent cycle. The early on-field results have been strong and now Sanders' recruiting chops have proven to be even stronger.