Deion Sanders isn’t just a football coach at Jackson State. He is a builder of men.
When Coach Prime took the Tigers job in 2020, the NFL Hall of Famer made that very clear. While he wants to win ball games, his mission is greater than football.
In addition to what plays out on the gridiron, Sanders wants to change the culture. He wants to promote HBCUs, he wants to elevate a program and a city that doesn’t get the love and support they deserve from the state, and he wants his players to leave Jackson as better people than they were before arriving on campus.
That message rang true over the weekend as Coach Prime addressed his team after its fourth dominant win on this young, undefeated season. The Tigers will take their bye week this weekend and won’t be on the field.
As they take some time off to rest and recover, Deion Sanders doesn’t want them to do anything stupid.
In his speech, which his son Deion Jr. was initially hesitant to post because he wasn’t sure how it would be received, Sanders delivered a very blunt, profound message. It may have been a little bit unorthodox, but he serves as a father figure to his team and wants help them succeed however he can.
While announcing that his team will have Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday off this week, Sanders gave them a reminder about being smart and making good choices. He doesn’t want his guys making a life-changing, stupid decision during the time away from the team.
“I don’t want anybody to go to jail,” Coach Prime said. “I don’t want nobody to do something stupid, I don’t want nobody to get somebody pregnant, I don’t want nobody to put they hands on somebody they shouldn’t be putting their hands on, and I don’t want nobody taking nothing that ain’t yours.”
To close things out, Sanders reminded his team what he reminds them every day.
“Be smart, tough, fast, and disciplined— with character.”
The last part of those five keys is the one that Coach Prime emphasized the most. He wants to win, but he wants to teach his players how to conduct themselves with dignity and respect.
That is the Jackson State way. That is the Deion Sanders way.
Here is the full speech: