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The Future of College Football Is Being Molded by Deion Sanders

How the NFL Hall of Famer is changing the game.

Photo Credit: Henry Taylor Commercial-Appeal

For over 30 years, Deion Sanders' name has been synonymous with winning, in everything from football, to baseball, to now coaching. And in his short time as head coach of the Jackson State Tigers, he's done nothing but rack up wins, taking a team that was coming off a 4-8 season and transforming them into a nationally renowned program that recently went all the way to the Celebration Bowl. It's undeniable that his presence has changed JSU football for the better, and it's equally as obvious that he's also changing HBCU football as a whole.

Coach Prime isn't the first retired player to see success as a coach, but he is the first to use his reputation as a great player to attract such a large amount of young talent to his program. Between the records he's set, his championships, his Pro-Bowl appearances, and his Hall of Fame status, it's no wonder why he's widely considered one of the greatest football players since the creation of the sport. Any young man hoping to make it into the NFL would be amiss not to seriously consider taking the opportunity to learn from him, and he knows that. Using his reputation and charm, Neon Deion has scored exceptional athletes like Kevin Coleman and Travis Hunter, players who were pursued by top schools throughout the NCAA.

As a result, there's been a lot of buzz about this Tigers football team. The fact that Deion Sanders is coaching a college team is already enough to pique people's interest, but Deion Sanders coaching top-tier young talent? That's something everyone has to see.

Because of the hype surrounding this team, HBCU games that wouldn't usually be aired on national TV are being highlighted on channels like ESPN and Fox Sports. Commentators who've never even seen a Tigers game before are now praising the team's performance on their shows.

JSU has also seen some fantastic game attendance, averaging a little over 42,000 attendees per game. All this attention translates into dollars as well. Jackson State football has been generating about $30 million dollars since their new head coach started, almost double the $16 million it was generating before he arrived.

This new spotlight put on JSU is shifting the college football landscape in more ways than one. Everyone's eyes are on Coach Prime's team of winners now, and that includes the eyes of NFL recruiters. Pro-football is no respecter of alma maters, only talent. So if the talent is headed to HBCUs instead of big-name PWIs (private white institutions), that's where they'll look. By the same token, wherever the attention of the NFL is, top athletes will be headed. If this trend of elite Black athletes committing to HBCUs continues, we may be looking at a very different world of college football in the near future.

Jackson State University's football program has seen unprecedented growth in multiple areas in such a short amount of time. Their team is winning more, their revenue is multiplying, and their name is being spread nationwide. All this, because of the presence of one person, Deion Sanders.

Love him or hate him, the man is doing great things for the Black community. He's used his celebrity status to bring notoriety and money to Black colleges and is showing no signs of slowing down.

So what’s next for Deion and this team of promising talent? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure. Coach Prime will give it his all for the win.

1 Comment

Anna Favorskaya
Anna Favorskaya
Dec 12, 2022

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