Just before Deion Sanders’ segment ended on ESPN’s ‘College GameDay’ on Saturday in Jackson, Mississippi, he led the thousands of fans behind him in a ‘Who is SWAC?’ chant.
It’s the chant that’s become the new phrase around Jackson State: ‘Who is SWAC, If I Ain’t SWAC.’
And it reverberated ahead of Jackson State football’s showdown with Southern at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
It’s a reminder that Sanders, in his third year at Jackson State, is building the reputation of JSU and HBCUs after the program’s SWAC-ness was challenged in a win over Alabama State earlier this month. The chant followed a question regarding his coaching future.
‘I’m not going to lie and tell you I won’t entertain other opportunities,’ Sanders said about the question, adding that he has no immediate plans to go anywhere else.
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Sanders spoke about his mom, his influences in coaching, why he’s entertaining other jobs and dazzled the crowd with chants of ‘Baby, who is SWAC!’
For now, Sanders is all about JSU and all about the SWAC.
Sanders rolled in on his bike with the famous Aflac duck on the front, a nod to his series of commercials with Alabama coach Nick Saban. When he arrived on the ‘College GameDay’ stage, the first thing he said was how important Saturday morning was to the program and city of Jackson.
It was the first time ESPN’s premier college football preview show had made its stop in Jackson, and it was exactly how Sanders imagined his tenure at Jackson State would go when he was hired in 2020.
‘This is unbelievable,’ Sanders said on the set. ‘This is what we dreamt of. This is what it’s supposed to be.’
About the matchup with Southern, Sanders was more concise:
‘I have plans to dominate today,’ Sanders said.