Saturday will feature one of the most anticipated regular-season spring matchups of the 2021 season.

Deion Sanders versus Grambling State.

Maybe not, if you ask head coach Broderick Fobbs.

“We’re not playing Deion Sanders. We’re playing the Jackson State football team,” Fobbs said earlier this week. “For us, you know it’s not about you know the sideshow and all the other stuff, the bells and whistles.”

While Fobbs is certainly accurate in that assessment, the overarching theme of the young season is that Sanders’ presence at Jackson State has engulfed Saturday’s game, the SWAC and HBCU football.

Regardless of the opponent, Sanders’ name will lead the marquee this year.

Also read: Noah Bodden, No. 1 high school QB in New York, commits to Grambling State

The “sideshow” that goes along with everything Sanders represents has made this edition of the Jackson State-Grambling State rivalry exceptional.

As for the football aspect of it, Grambling has not lost to Jackson State since 2014 and only four times in the last 21 meetings.

That’s something Sanders and Jackson State are aware of. Grambling has been solid the last six seasons, and JSU understands how hard they have to work — despite the revered recruiting class and all the hyperbole — to win at “The Hole” for the first time in nine long seasons.

“The last time Jackson State beat Grambling. The men on this team were between nine and twelve years old,” said Sanders. “That’s special. This says a lot about their program and their accomplishments.

“We love that challenge.”


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