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The Deion Sanders’ Jackson State experiment may bust

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Deion Sanders

You could throw a baseball from the venerable Mt. Olive Cemetery to the practise field where Deion Sanders performs the risky contemporary sociological experiment in college football.

Since the 1800s, Black Americans have been buried at Jackson, Mississippi’s Mt. Olive Cemetery, which is basically on the campus of Jackson State University.

James Hill, a freed slave who was elected secretary of state of Mississippi and served in that position from 1874 to 1878, is honoured with a monument. In 1877, the rebuilding was deemed done.

The legacies of slavery, the Civil War, the end of Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and segregation still leave their marks on this region of the nation.

Vicksburg, which Union General U.S. Grant took control of on July 4, 1863, lies 45 minutes to the west of Jackson. Vicksburg did not mark Independence Day for a further 81 years.

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The Deion Sanders’ Jackson State experiment

Deion Sanders

The state capital of Mississippi is Jackson, and it’s in this city where former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders is attempting to emulate Eddie Robinson of today’s period.

Deion is attempting to draw attention to a university and a level of football that college athletics frequently considers more as a burden than as a priority.

Even though Deion’s charter “Prime Prep Academy” schools in DFW were a complete failure, his efforts to coach college students are bearing fruit.

You can see what Deion is up against when you travel up and down Walter Payton Drive, then through the neighborhoods that surround Jackson State University.

This is the most difficult assignment Deion has ever attempted in his Hall of Fame career—forget covering Jerry Rice or Michael Irvin.

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Huge is all that matters in college football these days—large money, big stadiums, and big toys. 7,000 students attend Jackson State, which competes in the FCS’s SWAC.

He’s trying to level the playing field, which favours Jackson State and similar colleges by 90 degrees.

Famous black Americans have long questioned whether outstanding high school athletes should attend HBCUs (HBCUs).

If HBCUs field successful teams, sports departments may receive funds. Even if you don’t like Deion’s mouth, give him credit for his objective.

Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders is in his third year and has had success.

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The Tigers had a 3-3 record during the compressed spring FCS season of ’21, which was relocated because to COVID.

The club went 11-2 in the previous season, and Deion did what Deion does best: garner attention. Sedeur Sanders, who is the leading quarterback and could have gone to a more prestigious institution, is his son.

Last year, Deion signed four-star receiver Kevin Coleman and cornerback Travis Hunter, two of the finest high school talents in the country. Both players had a wide range of options.

This caliber of high school player is never recruited by HBCUs.

Hunter went from Florida State to Jackson State to “burn a trail” for great athletes to consider HBCUs.

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Mike Zimmer, a former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator and Minnesota Vikings head coach, joined Deion’s 2022 staff.

The last HBCU to achieve such recognition was Alcorn State quarterback Steve McNair in 1994.

Grambling’s Eddie Robinson appeared on SI’s cover in 1985 before McNair. Robinson made Grambling the exclusive HBCU name.

Jackson State produced football stars such as Payton, Jackie Slater, Robert Brazile, and Lem Barney.

The Walter Payton Health and Recreation Center, which is close to the practice football field and is encircled by the track, has a memorial for Payton outside. Payton passed away in 1999.

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The athletic facilities on this modest campus pale in comparison to the glitzy college football stadiums that surround Jackson State throughout the South.

The 2021 football budget for Jackson State was $2.1 million; the school’s budget for recruiting is less than $20,000. In contrast, Ole Miss’ athletic department spent more than $112 million in 2020. That value is typical for Power 5.

Jackson State’s ability to compete with Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and other Power 5 teams was formerly laughed off.

This ambition is considerably bigger than the NFL or SEC title. Lifting an American class is the goal.

Instead of defeating Alabama, JSU needs to make the FCS playoffs this year after nearly missing out the previous year. One HBCU team—Tennessee State—has triumphed in an FCS playoff match this century.

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The next objective is to elevate JSU to the top FCS team. The next stage is to get JSU on TV and make it a program people want to watch. The process will take years.

In actuality, it could not succeed. Anything Deion has ever accomplished is easier than this. Whatever your opinion of Deion Sanders may be, give him credit for trying. He is not required to be here.

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