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College football’s Early Signing Day never disappoints, and this year delivers yet another shocking announcement. Travis Hunter, the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit, has flipped his over year-long commitment from Florida State to… Jackson State.
Yes, Jackson State, the HBCU and FCS school coached by none other than Deion Sanders. Yes, “Coach Prime,” whose jersey is retired at Florida State. The guy whom Hunter grew up idolizing and the main reason he committed to Florida State originally.
Hunter made the switch official during a press conference on Wednesday and then confirmed it on Twitter.
“Jerry Rice, Doug Williams, and of course the legend, JSU’s own Walter Payton — Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a rich history in football,” Hunter said. “I want to be part of that history, and more, I want to be part of that future. I am making this decision so that I can light the way for others to follow, make it a little easier for the next player to recognize that HBCU’s may be everything you want and more: an exciting college experience, a vital community, and a life-changing place to play football.
“I look forward to working with the iconic Deion Sanders, and especially with my fellow Tigers. Along with Coach Prime, they have made me feel like I’m already part of the team. Like I’m home. And I can’t wait to welcome the next class of top athletes into the family of HBCU’s.”
Hunter is a 6-foot-1, 165-pound cornerback out of Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia. Hunter had offers from Georgia and Auburn among others.
247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong first alarmed Seminoles fans when he reported Wednesday morning that there was a possibility for Hunter to flip. Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel dealt the final blow when he reported that the school had been informed that Hunter was heading to Jackson State.
The growing use of Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) certainly played a role in Hunter’s commitment. According to BeanInvest, Barstool Sports and Penn National Gaming reached a deal with Hunter rumored to be in the millions. Sanders notably left NFL Network in Aug. 2020 to join Barstool Sports.
To his credit, Sanders called his shot on Tuesday’s edition of Barstool Sports’ The Pro Football Football Show.
Hunter’s commitment to Florida State could have been a program changer for a team that has suffered back-to-back losing seasons under head coach Mike Norvell. That all seems undone now, as does Florida State’s recruiting class, which ranked No. 12 with Hunter’s commitment, per 247Sports.
Jackson State, meanwhile, is coming off an 11-1 season and a SWAC Conference Championship.