Deion Sanders had already established himself as a coach who wouldn’t be afraid to go after the nation’s top recruits as evidenced by Jackson State positioning itself among many FBS schools, ranking as high as No. 55 in all of college football last year.
The second-year coach landed the most notable recruit in school and HBCU football history after receiving a commitment from 5-star defensive back Travis Hunter in the 2022 class.
“I appreciate Deion giving me this opportunity of a lifetime,” Hunter said after discarding Florida State, Georgia and Auburn hats before donning a JSU hat and “iBelieve” shirt. “Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a rich history in football. I want to be part of that history and more. I am making this decision so that I can light the way for others to follow, make it a little easier for the next player to recognize that HBCUs maybe everything you want and more.”
Hunter, who previously committed to Florida State in March out of Collins High School in Sawnee, Georgia, has caught 66 passes for 975 yards and nine touchdowns at wide receiver his senior season. On defense, he’s recorded 19 tackles, four interceptions, five pass deflections and two fumble recoveries.
Hunter had offers from Alabama, Georgia and Clemson in addition to Florida State.
Heading into the early signing period, Sanders suggested that the program would “shock the country” with its haul.
“Let me tell you guys this. Signing day is (Wednesday),” Sanders said on the Unnecessary Roughness podcast. “I’m going on record to tell you guys we’re going to shock the country. I’m telling you right now. “You’ve heard it from me. We’re going to shock the country. You’re not going to wait until this (show) airs, to air what I’m saying. Every news station, I promise you.”
Before the start of the 2021 spring season, Jackson State acquired its highest-rated class headlined by four-star quarterback Shedeur Sanders and De’Jahn Warren, who was the No. 1-rated junior college defensive back in the country.
“When you look at the no-brainers in this class, he’s the first one you think of,” 247Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong said of the Hunter signing. “I think this is awesome for HBCUs. I think it’s awesome for that stage of football. You’re seeing head coaches hired in that league with great credibility … to get Travis Hunter to commit to Jackson State and play in that league (SWAC) it will be interesting to see what this does in the 2023 and 2024 class.”