football Edit

Ask Farrell: Will Deion Sanders be successful at Jackson State?

Deion Sanders
Deion Sanders (AP Images)

Deion Sanders has never coached at the college or pro level, but he’s a Hall of Famer and one of the most exciting and impressive two-sport athletes of all time, starring in the NFL and the MLB and carrying his persona and reputation beyond his playing days.

We’ve all seen Sanders during the Under Armour game lay it on pretty thick during the week coaching some of high school football’s best players.

And now Sanders is going to be the next coach at Jackson State.

This is interesting on many levels: He’s never coach college football, serving most recently as the offensive coordinator at Cedar Hill (Texas) Trinity Christian, where his son, Shedeur, plays quarterback.


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Shedeur Sanders is a three-star prospect who is currently committed to Florida Atlantic and coach Willie Taggart’s first full recruiting class.

Jackson State is not going to play football this fall and focus on a spring season, so Sanders would have a few months to acclimate to his new surroundings, get a coaching staff in place and hit the ground running after the new year.

There are a lot of questions to answer here: Could his son, a talented three-star prospect, actually back off his pledge to Florida Atlantic and go play for his father at Jackson State, where he would immediately be one of the more-talented players in the entire conference?

Can Sanders actually convince top-flight prospects from the Southeast and other parts of the country to come play for him at Jackson State (who better to teach you the game than a former star NFL player and Hall of Famer) and have a chance to play at an HBCU?

Will Sanders be able to stay inside the lines at an academic institution after the failure of his Prime Prep Academy in Dallas, where he was fired at one point as the team's football coach? The school shut its doors after three years among a slew of lawsuits and controversy.

And, finally, can Sanders prove himself at this level to land another coaching job possibly in the Power Five? He certainly has the name recognition and tremendous success as a player first at Florida State and then in the NFL. If he can make Jackson State a winner, will a Power Five program give him a shot?

We ask all these questions to Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell.


“Deion is an intriguing option for recruits and I think his son follows him to Jackson State, but that’s just a hunch. Jackson is certainly going to aim high on the recruiting trail but I don’t see many, if any, high-profile recruits with big offers choosing Jackson State for Deion. He’s a great former player but the jury is out as to his ability as a coach.

"This could be a springboard for Deion if he has success and shows he can coach at the college level. I’m not sure it leads to a Power Five job or anything that lofty, but it could propel him to the Group of Five level or as a big-time coordinator at the Power Five level. Deion coaching in college football will be fun to watch, but he will be missed on the high school development side of things.”