Jackson State coach Deion Sanders is undoubtedly one of the hottest rising stars in the college football coaching ranks.
In an interview with CBS during an episode of ’60 Minutes’, Sanders indicated he would consider other offers if — and when — teams in Power 5 conferences show interest in luring him to their programs.
‘I’m gonna have to entertain it,’ Sanders said in the interview, which aired Sunday night. ‘Straight up. I’d be a fool not to.’
Sanders did say, however, that he’s not interested in any NFL coaching opportunities.
‘Not one bit,’ Sanders said when asked if he wanted to coach in the NFL. ‘It’s hard for me to coach a person that makes a lot of money that does not truly love the game that blessed me. And I don’t want to go to jail … because I’m going to jump somebody. I will come out of halftime with half team. We’ll go in and half the team will come out after halftime.’
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Sanders has been an advocate for the exposure and advancement of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, of which Jackson State is one, during his time in the program. Sanders has also spoken about the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, referring to it as an issue about ‘equality.’
In December 2021, Sanders convinced the No. 1 high school recruit in the nation, cornerback Travis Hunter, to flip from Florida State and sign with the Tigers.
Sanders, who previously did not have any coaching experience in college football, was hired to Jackson State in September 2020. Since then, Sanders has injected energy into the program, giving it a national relevance that competes with the blueblood programs from the Power 5 conferences.
Sanders’ hiring came against the backdrop of a movement in the United States pushing for social justice, following the killing of George Floyd.
‘It was relevant because a lot of folks sit back on their Twitter fingers and talk about what they’re going to do,’ Sanders said during the ’60 Minutes’ interview. ‘I’m going to go do it. I’m going to change lives. Change the perspective of HBCU football. Do what’s right by these kids.’
Jackson State went 4-3 in Sanders’ first season but he followed that with the program’s first 11-win season in 2021, winning Jackson State’s first Southwestern Athletic Conference football championship since 2007. The Tigers went undefeated in conference play last season.
So far in 2022, the Tigers are 6-0 and averaging 44 points per game, with Sanders’ son, Shedeur Sanders, playing quarterback.
Sanders starred for Florida State from 1985-88 as a cornerback and was eventually drafted fifth overall in the 1989 NFL draft to the Atlanta Falcons. He played 14 seasons in the NFL — and also played nine seasons in the MLB — eventually becoming a six-time all-pro, winning the 1994 Defensive Player of the Year Award and being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
‘I can’t say I don’t love it,’ Sanders said of coaching. ‘I love every darn minute of it.’