T.C. Taylor took the reins of the Jackson State football program following the highly publicized departure of then-coach Deion Sanders. However, another NFL Hall of Fame player says he was asked to take the baton.
In a recent appearance on The Pivot Podcast, Ed Reed intimated that Sanders told him he should be the Tigers’ next coach after his departure to Colorado.
“He’s [Deion Sanders] like ‘I want you to go to Jackson State. I want to give this to nobody else but you.'”
Reed said he met with Jackson State Athletic Director Ashley Robinson and indicated he was very interested in the position. However, he said he would also meet with Bethune-Cookman because, according to Reed, he had “called him first.”
“I went to [visit] B-CU, and I’m leaning toward B-CU because if it’s about the culture, our culture, why not help the other one get up,” he said. “That’s why I chose B-CU over Jackson State. “
Despite having family roots nearby and calling the situation at Jackson State “ideal,” Reed said he ultimately decided on Bethune-Cookman, citing a desire to help another HBCU and the fact they were the first to reach out.
“I have family in McComb, Jackson State was ideal. I’m from Mississippi. I used to run through those dirt roads. That was ideal [Jackson is] two hours from my family in Louisiana. But if it’s about the culture, B-CU is the place to be, plus they called first. Their [Jackson State’s] bells and whistles were there [but] let’s build up another brother or sister HBCU if that’s what it’s truly about.”
Unfortunately, Reed’s affiliation would be short-lived, lasting just 25 days, as the university opted not to ratify his contract shortly after Reed’s public and scathing criticism of on-campus facilities.
Reed has since expressed interest in the open Grambling State job, HBCU Sports reported.