Shedeur Sanders, Jackson State
Photo: Mandela Jones/HBCU Sports

Despite Jackson State being well-represented among SWAC football postseason honor recipients, head coach Deion Sanders suggested that more of his players — particularly those on offense — should have garnered more recognition.

On Monday, the SWAC announced its fall postseason honors that featured 10 players, including Sanders himself as SWAC Coach of the Year.

But Sanders, who has never been shy about being candid, was critical that his son, Shedeur Sanders, nor any skill position player on offense was selected to the league’s first team.

“I was insulted by that situation right there,” Sanders said during the SWAC coaches media availability.”We don’t have one (first-team) offensive player. How is that possible? Not one.”

As a team, Jackson State ranked second in the SWAC in scoring offense, second in passing and seventh in total offense.

Sheduer Sanders, who was named SWAC Freshman of the Year, and is being considered for the Stats Perform FCS Jerry Rice Award, was listed as the conference’s second-team quarterback, which drew the ire of his coach and father.

“What this young man accomplished — forget that he’s my son — what he accomplished in the SWAC this year as freshman … don’t punish him because he’s a freshman,” he said. “Give him what he should have coming.  I just thought he should have been the (first team) quarterback.

“I don’t want to hear freshman of the year, that’s automatic. We knew that. … But Shedeur balled and every one of y’all knows what he did and what he represents as a freshman. Not one offensive guy, not even one of our receivers? Wow. That’s unbelievable. We gotta stop that foolishness and call it what it is.”

Sanders led the SWAC with a 68.7 % completion percentage while finishing second in the league in passing yards, touchdowns and passing yards per game, all behind senior Alabama A&M quarterback Aqeel Glass, who Deion Sanders called “a pro.”

Also read: SWAC releases 2021 all-conference football teams and postseason honors

Glass, the SWAC Offensive Player of the Year, finished the 2021 season with 3,568 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, and 356.8 yards per game along with a 160.8 passing efficiency. He recorded five games of at least 400 passing yards, including resetting the program’s NCAA Division I era record with 462 yards in a single game.

The senior was joined on the first team by Bulldogs wide receivers Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim, who compiled a SWAC-leading 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns and Odieu Hilaire, who hauled in 71 receptions for 918 yards and nine TDs.

Running back Gary Quarles also made the first team for a season for Alabama A&M in which he fell just short of 1,000 yards, but led all SWAC rushers with 10 touchdowns.

When a Jackson State official mentioned that Sanders and wide receiver Keith Corbin had made the second-team, though freshman receiver Malachi Wideman was left off either team despite 11 TD receptions, the second-year head coach was still not satisfied.

“Don’t nobody care about the second team,” he said. “I don’t even read back that far. I didn’t even know there was a second team. Ain’t nobody getting anything for second place.”


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