Deion Sanders' hiring intrigues Mississippi prospects
When Deion Sanders was named Jackson State’s new football coach, four-star receiver Isaiah Brevard quickly texted Sanders’ son, Shedeur, who’s currently committed to Florida Atlantic, a congratulatory note.
Brevard, from Southaven, Miss., immediately understood the significance of someone of Sanders’ stature getting a coaching job in Brevard’s home state.
The Oregon commit might not be flipping his pledge to Jackson State but many other prospects in Mississippi sure sound intrigued.
“It would be nice to be coached by an NFL Hall of Famer like Deion,” Brevard said.
If any college football coach has walked the walk and not just talked the talk (Sanders does a lot of that, too) it is Prime Time, Neon Deion, a first-round NFL Draft pick who was a two-time Super Bowl champ and eight-time Pro Bowl selection. Sanders was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
And now the coach at Jackson State, Mississippi prospects might take a look.
“That’s a tough one, but I believe he's going to change the program around,” three-star WR and Mississippi State commit Brandon Buckhaulter said. “I played for Deion Sanders at (Cedar Hill, Texas) Trinity Christian and one thing about him, he wants everyone to be great. But in order to be great you have to do what it takes. The best coach I ever played for, and honestly that’s going to be hard to consider JSU, but it would be cool to play for him again in college.”
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The state of Mississippi has become a hotbed of college football again with Mike Leach coaching Mississippi State, Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss and now an even bigger persona in Sanders at Jackson State.
Those SEC programs might not have to worry about elite prospects flipping to play for Sanders, but there are numerous in-state recruits who could grow interested.
-- Three-star DB and Mississippi State commit Brendan Toles: “Now that he is there, it really has me thinking.”
-- Three-star Tulane QB commit Ty Keyes: “I will see what they have to offer.”
-- Four-star Rivals250 receiver Antonio Harmon: “Since he’s there I would love to hear from him and talk some football with him. And maybe play for him.”
-- Three-star DB and Ole Miss commit Elijah Sabbatini: “If they were to offer I would consider them because it would be cool to play for Deion Sanders.”
Even LSU defensive back commit Khamauri Rogers, who’s ranked as the eighth-best cornerback in the 2022 class and the top-rated player in Mississippi, said Jackson State is interesting. His father went there and Marcus Rogers tweeted that out of his son’s 30 offers, the one from Jackson State was the best.
“I haven’t heard from him yet, and yes I would consider Jackson State since he’s there,” Rogers said. “My dad plays a major role since he went to the school and he knows the history.”
Pumping the brakes might be prudent though, says Rivals South-Central Recruiting Analyst Sam Spiegelman, who said Jackson State might not flip many Mississippi State and Ole Miss commits. But the world of transfers could be a jackpot for Sanders early on.
“First, he’s going to attack the transfer market,” Spiegelman said. “You’re going to get disgruntled Power Five players who haven’t seen the field or want to play sooner, and who else would you want to play for than Deion Sanders? Deion has the Under Armour ties, he’s also been the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian, so he’s rooted in Texas high school football. He has relationships and a multitude of connections in Texas and in Florida. Those matter as well.
“I don’t think he’s going toe-to-toe with Mississippi State and Ole Miss for the top guys in the state, but he’s going to land some three-stars and he could be really effective attacking that transfer market.”
Still, many Mississippi prospects could give a look - and it’s because Sanders has those all-important pro football chops.
“I would love to be under the wing of an NFL legend,” three-star Mississippi State WR commit Jacobi Moore said.