Deion Sanders makes ultimate recruiting pitch — to be Florida State’s next coach

Travis Hunter, the number one recruit in the class of 2022, had three hats in front of him at his engagement ceremony at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia.

Hunter tried on and consistently tossed the Auburn, Georgia and Florida State hats on before catching one from the crowd. Hunter donned a Jackson State hat and the crowd erupted enough to shake up the online broadcast.

It was a little after noon, but the early signing period turned into prime time.

The first early signing day of the NIL (name, picture and likeness) era saw Jackson’s trainer, Deion Sanders, bring the best recruit in the country to an HBCU (historically black college and universities). It is arguably the most significant change of all time; one that will increase exposure for Jackson State, which finished 11-1 with Sanders’ son Shedeur playing quarterback.

Sure, Sanders could stick with the Jackson State Tigers and build a powerhouse that could challenge the FBS establishment. Hunter could emerge as the most visible HBCU player since Alcorn State’s Steve McNair, who finished third in the 1994 Heisman Trophy voting. That’s possible.

There is another possible long game, and with Sanders nothing is subtle. Hunter chose Jackson State over Florida State, where Sanders was a two-time All-American cornerback from 1985 to 1988. This happens the same day the Seminoles agreed to a contract extension for Mike Norvell after a 5-7 season.

It’s not too difficult to do the math from there. Sanders made a not-so-subtle pitch to be Florida State’s next head coach, if that’s what he wants down the road.

TCU was reportedly interested in Sanders during this coaching carousel, but squashed those rumors in an interview as he recovered from foot surgery.

“Well, TCU is not the only one interested in my services.” Sanders said via The Clarion Ledger. “(Jackson State athletic director) Ashley Robinson is interested in my services and in finishing what I finished.”

The Tigers won the Southwestern Athletic Conference in 2021 and play Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion South Carolina State in Saturday’s Celebration Bowl, a game that will attract more interest after Hunter’s engagement. It’s Jackson State’s first appearance in that game and a nod to rapid change.

Sanders remains a strong advocate for creating more opportunities for HBCU players and institutions in college and the NFL, and the professional Football Hall of Fame cornerback could stay for the rest of his career. That seems to be the short-term outlook, at least as long as Shedeur Sanders plays for Jackson State.

But what if that job opens in the state of Florida? The Seminoles have had four consecutive losing seasons and are 19-27 since Jimbo Fisher left after the 2017 season. Sanders is already the best candidate for the job, and there’s no question who picks between Norvell and Sanders in this one. moment.

Sanders would have a decision at that point. With success at the FBS level, it would pave the way for more African-American coaches in Power 5. In this year’s cycle, Notre Dame hired Marcus Freeman, but there were no other African-American coaches hired through the 13 openings for Power 5 schools. .

Sanders could be in line for that future, and for those of you who like hypotheticals, check out the schedule. On August 30, 2025, Florida State opens the season against Alabama.

Imagine Sanders versus Nick Saban in the AFLAC bowl.

Will FBS be ready for Prime Time by then? And vice versa?

We already know the answer to that.