Deion Sanders is reportedly expected to become the head football coach at Jackson State, an FCS-level HBCU program. It is a surprising move for the legendary cornerback, who has been making big career moves all year.
News on the Sanders hire has been all over the place today. HBCU Sports’ Kenn Rashad was the first to break the news this afternoon. Per his report, the move is expected to be announced on Monday morning. He was previously reported to be a candidate for the position on August 31.
The Athletic’s Chris Vannini and Sports Illustrated‘s Ross Dellenger refuted the report at first. Dellenger has since walked that back, and says that the school is in fact finalizing a deal with Sanders. His contract with Under Armour clashes with JSU’s with Nike, which is reportedly a hangup. Jackson State is still denying that Sanders is the hire, and says that offensive coordinator TC Taylor is the top candidate, though Sanders appears on what an alleged leaked itinerary for Monday’s press conference and welcome events.
Sanders’ coaching experience is limited to the high school level so far. He is currently the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, Texas, where he has had the chance to coach his sons. Hiring former star players has become something of a trend in sports over recent years, though doing so for college football is a pretty big jump. Even so, it is hard to outdo Prime’s star power. This is a big splash by the Jackson State Tigers.
Deion Sanders coaching at Jackson State could create tremendous national exposure for HBCU’s. There’s so much talent in the #SWAC & #MEAC and anything to help bring more attention to programs like that can be a game changer for those leagues and its student-athletes. #PrimeTime https://t.co/ljQDTvsNlo
— Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) September 17, 2020
Welcome to Mississippi football 🏈
Lane Kiffin – HC for Mississippi
Mike Leach – HC for Mississippi State
Deion Sanders – HC for Jackson State pic.twitter.com/qKxZgPxZ9s
— Pickswise (@Pickswise) September 17, 2020
Jackson State: Deion Sanders has never been a candidate for our head coaching position.
Also Jackson State: Has itinerary for Deion Sanders leaked.
— Chris Jastrzembski (@Chris_Jast) September 17, 2020
Now, some are speculating about what Shedeur Sanders, Deion’s son and a four-star quarterback, will do. He is currently committed to play at FAU, but that was before his father became a college head coach.
Will Deion Sanders' son, Shedeur Sanders, one of the top QB's in the class of 2021 and an FAU commit, follow his dad to Jackson State? https://t.co/kRGc6KVMyw
— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) September 17, 2020
What makes the move even more interesting is Deion Sanders’ media career. He recently left NFL Network to take a job with Barstool Sports, for whom he podcasts and contributes to NFL coverage, and has a recurring guest spot on the popular sports podcast “Pardon My Take.”
According to the New York Post, Sanders took the Barstool job with the understanding that the company would support his pursuit of a coaching job.
Last year, Sanders was floated as a surprise candidate at his alma mater Florida State, as well as the job at Arkansas. Afterwards, he pledged that he’d be a college football coach “next year” during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show.
It sounds like he called his own shot there.