It has been a dream season so far for Jackson State and head coach Deion Sanders, and the bright lights are about to get turned on as the school will host ESPN's College GameDay for the Week 9 confrontation against Southern University.
The Tigers improved to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the SWAC after a 22-14 victory over Campbell. The close win was a rarity for Jackson State, as its six previous wins all came by double digits.
The visit by the popular pregame program marks the first time GameDay has visited an HBCU campus since the 2008 season when Florida A&M hosted Hampton. It also marks the first time that the ESPN program has broadcast at an FCS school since 2019 when South Dakota State hosted North Dakota State.
Jackson State's impressive season has given Sanders increased visibility as a college coach, and it should give him the opportunity to throw his name into contention for a head coaching position at a Power Five school.
“I’m going to have to entertain it,” Sanders told CBS News. “Yes, I’m going to have to entertain it, straight up. I’d be a fool not to.”
The NFL Hall of Famer has done a notable job of upgrading Jackson State's recruiting. He landed CB Travis Hunter, the No. 1 prospect in 2022 recruiting year, beating out Florida State.
Sanders believes the Hunter signing could be a game changer for other HBCU and FCS schools. “Big-time recruit going to a big-time school,” Sanders explained. “But a big-time recruit chooses to go to Jackson State? That changes the trajectory of so many other kids.”
It certainly helps if an all-time great player like Deion Sanders is doing the recruiting.