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It takes skin to win in the world of college football recruiting. And it helps if that skin is black, at least according to Terrell Owens. The NFL Hall of Famer said that the fact that Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders is black, not white, is what enabled JSU to land the country’s top recruit, Travis Hunter.
“…there’s not a white coach that can go into a black man’s home and do what Deion did, that’s very special,” Owens said during an appearance on HANG with former pros Shannon Sharpe and Hugh Douglas.
#BREAKING: Travis Hunter, the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruit in the 2022 class, informed Florida State Wednesday that he will sign with Jackson State, per @PeteThamel.https://t.co/IkBo1OZw9L pic.twitter.com/aBeaCaMIIg
— 247Sports (@247Sports) December 15, 2021
Hunter, primarily a defensive back, had been committed to Sanders’ alma mater, Florida State, before flipping to Jackson State on last Wednesday’s signing day. Though he didn’t go as far as to reference his complexion, Douglas did agree with Owens that Deion’s background played a major role in Hunter’s JSU commitment. “(Deion is) someone that speaks (Hunter’s) language. Somebody he can communicate on a level you can’t communicate with like any other coach,” said Douglas. “The fact that Deion comes to town, you got Young Jeezy come speak to the kids, you’ve got T.I. come speak to the kids and it’s a genuine conversation about life.”
Fair point. I think we can all agree that there’s no life coach quite like Young Jeezy.
Douglas referenced those celebrity speakers, along with others, as being a major reason why Hunter would choose to play for Sanders: “I know a lot of people that probably looked at that initially, they were probably shocked about that. But for them to come in and tell these kids about what they’re going to potentially be facing in life, I don’t see Dabo Swinney or anybody else being able to relate to them on that level like that.”
Dabo Swinney by the way, had Charles Barkley and Darryl Strawberry attend Clemson practice as recently as this past August. Swinney’s Tigers have also won two national championships within the last five seasons. But apparently that doesn’t resonate with recruits as much as T.I.’s credentials.
According to 247Sports, the top recruit in the class of 2023 is quarterback Arch Manning, who’s white. Based on T.O.’s logic, Deion may want to sit this one out.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF