Deion Sanders on interest from Power 5 programs: ‘I’d be a liar to tell you I’m not going to entertain those things'


Saturday brought another action-packed edition of College GameDay, held for the first time at Jackson State, where the Tigers, led by coach Deion Sanders, remain undefeated heading into their matchup with conference rival Southern University later this afternoon. Viral moments were in no short supply with Sanders leading the crowd in a “Who is SWAC?” chant (alluding to his recent feud with Alabama State coach Eddie Robinson) while also learning he and fellow Florida State alum Lee Corso are tied for third in school history with 14 interceptions. Even Stephen A. Smith made it down to Jackson, joining Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, Kirk Herbstreit and Pat McAfee behind the desk as this week’s celebrity guest picker.

It's taken all of three years for Sanders to elevate Jackson State, an FCS school competing in the historically black Southwestern Athletic Conference, to mainstream relevance, bringing eyes to a sector of college football that has been ignored for too long. A born salesman whose natural charm may just lead him to the top of his profession, the Hall-of-Famer landed the nation’s top high-school prospect during last year’s recruitment cycle, convincing five-star cornerback Travis Hunter to attend JSU over scholarship offers from Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Auburn, Florida, Texas, Michigan, Oklahoma and Ole Miss.

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It's been widely assumed that Sanders will eventually outgrow Jackson State, inevitably leaving for a bigger program in a major FBS conference. When asked if he plans to pursue other coaching opportunities, Sanders didn’t deny that as a possibility, acknowledging that while Jackson State remains his primary focus, the chance to coach a Power Five school would be hard to pass up.

“First of all, I got to stay focused and I got to maximize these moments and continue to dominate these moments. And when we cross that hurdle, we’re going to cross that hurdle,” said Jackson, trying to be as diplomatic as possible. “I’d be a fool and a liar to tell you that I’m not going to entertain those things, because I am. But I have made no plans to move, I have made no plans to go anywhere. I have made plans to dominate today.”

Though it might pain fans to hear it, Sanders was never going to be a long-term fixture at JSU, using Jackson State as a foot in the door en route to bigger and better opportunities elsewhere in college football. A number of jobs have already opened up with Wisconsin, Nebraska, Georgia Tech and Arizona State all seeking new leadership (Auburn coach Bryan Harsin is also said to be on the hot seat). That doesn’t mean he’ll leave this month or even this year, but rest assured, Sanders’ ascent is just beginning.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images