The arrival of Deion Sanders in the SWAC — and the attention the first-year coach has received — has lit a competitive fire under coaches within the conference.
One of them is Alabama A&M head coach Connell Maynor.
Days after the Bulldogs knocked off Jackson State 52-43 on Saturday, the veteran head coach did not mince words while sending a message that his bunch would be a team to be reckoned with for years to come despite how celebrated the SWAC East rivals are.
During an in-house interview, Maynor was asked what advice would he have provided Sanders upon entering the SWAC. To that, Maynor — who has never been shy to share his opinion — gave a candid response.
“He’s got assistant coaches,” Maynor said. “He’s got NFL coaches and talks about how good his staff is. I’m sure he can lean on those guys for advice.
“He didn’t call me … he’s the enemy.”
Maynor then took a direct shot at Sanders’ highly-touted 2021 recruiting class that was regarded as the best in the FCS, and a crop the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee has often paraded on social media during the offseason.
“Recruit some more 5-stars,” Maynor growled. “You talk about all the 4-and-5-star you recruit. You are not the only one who recruits 4-and-5 stars, we do, too.”
Maynor followed up by picking apart the narrative that Jackson State’s recent three-game losing streak was due in part because its current roster lacked many of the high school signees and Division I transfers available in the spring.
“We got guys coming back next year, too. Everybody is waiting for next year — we are playing right now,” he said. “It is what it is. I’m going to have different players out there next (fall), too. It won’t be the exact same team.”
He ended his rant with this challenge to Sanders and Jackson State.
“Let’s go … bring it. We’re here (and) we’re going nowhere,” said Maynor.