Jackson State football, and its head coach Deion Sanders, shocked the world earlier this week when they flipped one of the best high school players in the nation on national signing day. Travis Hunter was committed to Florida State until he made the dramatic announcement to sign with Jackson State and play football for the Tigers in 2022.
The move shook up the college football landscape and generated a lot of speculation about why Hunter would change his mind to go to the HBCU. There has been speculation that Barstool gave Hunter a massive NIL deal to go to Jackson State. Sanders has since denied those rumors.
In an interview with ESPN, Sanders spoke about the rumors surrounding the acquisition of Hunter.
“We didn’t pay. We ain’t got no money! We ain’t got no money! A million and a half? I heard a million and a half. And I heard Dave Portnoy over at Barstool—that’s the biggest lie I’ve ever heard,” Sanders said.
Neon Deion added, “Ain’t nobody giving out a million and a half. I wouldn’t pay my son a million and a half! How am I going to coach a guy that’s making more than me?!”
“You know what that is?” Sanders said. “That means we kicked your butt, we took what was ours. And now, you got to make up an excuse why.”
The decision by Hunter to go to an HBCU will hopefully catalyze more young and talented high school players choosing to take control of their own journey and help these historic institutions at the same time.
Sanders believes that Hunter can be a game-changer and that he has that “It” factor on the field.
If Hunter is truly one of those players that are must-see TV it will have a huge impact on the future of HBCU sports and the HBCU community in general. If HBCUs can stack these five-star athletes or even four-star athletes consistently it will do nothing but help with exposure and funding for these institutions.
Hunter’s decision could serve as a breakthrough for HBCUs and if he has success at Jackson State it could become groundbreaking for the current state of college football.