Sanders, a former NFL star, was the head coach at Jackson State University for three years and breathed new life into HBCU football using his celebrity status and unwavering commitment as a catalyst to success. Hard work, discipline and his winning mentality quickly infected every last player on the team as well as across the league.
Now, it will be interesting to see if the coach’s winning formula will resonate with players at University of Colorado-Boulder, a predominately white institution and top 5 program in the college football world. We’ll just have to tune in and see. You can catch the game at noon on FOX.
Reviving Jackson State.
When Deion Sanders assumed the role of head coach at Jackson State University in September 2020, he inherited a football program that needed revitalization. The team had struggled to regain its former glory in recent years, but Sanders saw potential in the HBCU from the very start.
Through intense training and months of sweat equity, Coach prime catapulted Jackson State to success with his laser-sharp vision. His knack for identifying promising young athletes and his commitment to developing their skills helped elevate the team’s performance. Under his guidance, players received invaluable mentorship, both on and off the field, preparing them for success and life beyond football.
Beyond the realm of athletics, Deion Sanders’ impact extended to the community surrounding Jackson State University. The Mississippi-based university quickly became a beacon of Black Excellence and served as a role model for the importance of HBCU schools and culture in America. He made it a point to engage with local businesses, fans, and residents, fostering a sense of unity and shared pride. His philanthropic efforts and dedication to making a positive difference underscored his commitment to leaving a lasting legacy that extended far beyond wins and losses.
While Sanders’ time at Jackson State was marked by numerous achievements, the passionate coach faced his fair share of challenges, especially when he announced his new position with Colorado State University earlier this year. Coach Prime’s new job sparked outrage among HBCU alumni and supporters, with many calling the former Dallas Cowboy a “sellout” and “traitor” for taking his talents and expertise to a PWI.
Stans of the revered football star believed that he was on the cusp of achieving something significant at Jackson State and for HBCU schools across the country. His short tenure had already shown promise, with improvements in recruitment, team performance, and visibility. Sanders’ exit before being able to fully realize his vision for the program might have left some feeling that there was unfinished business that could have propelled the team to even greater heights.
Luckily, Jackson State University is still in good hands.
First-year head coach T.C. Taylor prepared the team well for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge game against South Carolina State Aug. 26. On Saturday, Jackson State gave South Carolina a run for their money, dominating the game 37-7 at the season opening.
Quarterback Jason Brown was the star of the show. The talented athlete scored three touchdowns and raked up 356 passing yards. After the game, Brown showed love to his teammates Jency Riley, Andre Hunt, and DJ Stevens, who helped him to score big during the competition.
“I have a lot of playmakers around me,” Brown told Sports Illustrated. “I got Duke, Rico, Fabian McCray. You saw Andre take off with one. DJ, Jency, and I have Irv Mulligan and J.D. Martin out of the backfield. In our offense, you know, there’s a lot of different ways to get a bunch of different people involved. If I just go through the correct read and get them the ball, they’re gonna make plays, and you guys saw that tonight.”
During the big game, the team received an unexpected surprise from rapper turned music mogul Sean “P.Diddy” Combs, when he donated $1 million to the JSU Athletics Department to help expand the HBCU’s thriving football team to even bigger heights.
“As someone who went to Howard University and understands the invaluable experience of attending historically Black colleges and universities, it’s important that we all do our part to protect and preserve their legacy,” the “Act Bad” hitmaker said of the big deed.
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