The fortunes of the Jackson State football program changed on Sept. 21, 2020. JSU Athletic Director Ashley Robinson formally introduced the hiring of Deion Sanders. Sanders, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was taking his skills as a first-time head coach to the SWAC.
On the eve of his two 12 months anniversary with this system, Sanders mirrored on the modifications he is seen at Jackson State (3-0, 1-0). It’s becoming that two years beneath Sanders comes after a dominant 66-24 victory over Grambling State on Saturday. The second recreation of Sanders’ tenure started with a 33-28 victory over Grambling State, JSU’s first victory over their SWAC rival since Nov. 3, 2012.
“These guys that now we have in the locker room now have a burning want to make it to the following degree,” Sanders stated. “They take this recreation significantly. They know this recreation can save generations and provides wealth to generations. They’re severe about it, in contrast to once we first bought right here.
“There was no seriousness. There was no sense of urgency. There was no want to win and be dominant no matter. Those guys that we introduced in right here have that. I’m pleased with them. Not solely am I pleased with them, I’m pleased with the teaching employees.”
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Sanders and the Tigers have encountered a number of challenges in his first years because the face of Jackson State. His tenure began with a rocky 4-3 spring football season in 2021. The Tigers’ remaining two video games have been canceled; Alcorn State forfeited and the season finale towards Prairie View A&M was scratched as a result of COVID-19 concern throughout the Jackson State program.
“The first spring I am unable to depend that as a season,” Sanders stated. “I did not know them. They did not know me. It’s like enjoying pickup football. We had a bunch of fellows in the locker room that most likely did not know the form of a football and the nuances of the sport. We did what we did.”
The trajectory of this system shifted drastically in the autumn with Shedeur Sanders at quarterback. The freshman helped lead the Tigers (11-2, 8-0) to their first SWAC championship since 2007 and an 11-win season.
Shedeur was the primary HBCU participant to win the Jerry Rice award for the highest freshman in FCS football in December. He went 256-377 passing, finishing 68% of his passes, together with 29 touchdowns with six interceptions and three,056 yards.
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Things continued to get higher for “Coach Prime” as five-star recruit Travis Hunter dedicated to Jackson State lower than per week later. Hunter, the 247Sports Composite No. 1 recruit nationally, instantly legitimized the ahead momentum Deion delivered to this system. The Tigers might be a vacation spot for the nation’s high expertise.
Hunter appeared in JSU’s season-opening 59-3 victory over Florida A&M however missed the Southern Heritage Classic together with Saturday’s 22-point victory over Grambling State. Deion stated followers will “most likely not” see the star freshman on Saturday.
The cornerback’s harm has not affected Jackson State’s protection. The Tigers have allowed two offensive touchdowns in their first three video games. However, Sanders nonetheless desires extra from his workforce. An indication of how expectations have significantly elevated in his first two years as head coach.
“We’re making an attempt our greatest to place collectively two halves of consistency,” Sanders stated. “The phrase of the week is consistency and that is what we wish to be.
“We have not been capable of give you an amazing begin. (We’re) typically having a lackluster efficiency in the primary half.”