Earlier this week at SWAC Media Day, Jackson State head football coach Deion Sanders was asked by a Birmingham TV station if he would be interested in playing Alabama in the near future.
This was his response:
“No, we’re not ready for that. No, no, we’re not into sacrificing our kids to get a check. [Nick Saban] has got to give me another year. I’ve got to get beef up in the front. The difference of Power Fives and HBCUs right now are those big guys in the middle. It’s not the quarterbacks, not the receivers, the DBs, or the skill position but those big dogs in the middle. We got to beef up that to be able to compete with something like that.”
While Jackson State may not be ready to play Alabama this season, it’s no secret that the Tigers live — at least a little — rent free inside Saban’s head. Back in May, Saban alleged that former No. 1 recruit Travis Hunter was paid $1 million to go to JSU.
“We have a rule right now that said you cannot use name, image, and likeness to entice a player to come to your school,” a now-reprimanded Saban said, according to the Associated Press. “Jackson State paid a guy a million dollars last year that was a really good Division I player to come to school. It was in the paper and they bragged about it. Nobody did anything about it.”
Both Sanders and Hunter responded to Saban’s allegation, calling it a lie. Ultimately, it seems as if Sanders and Saban are back on good terms as the two filmed another Aflac commercial together on July 12.
Jackson State opens up the 2022 season versus Florida A&M on September 4 in Miami.