Jackson, MS

Travis Hunter, the No. 2 high school recruit, commits to Jackson State, Deion Sanders in National Signing Day stunner

Jalyn Smoot

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JACKSON, Miss- Cornerback Travis Hunter, the No.2 high school recruit in the nation, committed to Jackson State, an HBCU, on National Signing Day.

Hunter is now the highest-rated prospect to commit to an HBCU since ESPN began rankings in 2006 and the first five-star prospect to sign with an FCS team.

The talented defensive back was previously committed to Florida State but flipped his commitment stance to team up with Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders at Jackson State.

Sanders, the head coach of the Jackson State football team, alluded to making a big signing day move in a cryptic tweet just hours before the Hunter announcement, and now the two-time Super Bowl champion has pulled the No.2 recruit away from his alma mater.

Hunter, who starred at both cornerback and receiver in high school, has been committed to Florida State since February 2020.

"Florida State has always been a beacon for me," Hunter said in a Twitter post. "I grew up down there, that's where my roots are, and I never doubted that I would play for the Seminoles.

"It's a dream that is hard to let go of, but sometimes we are called to step into a bigger future than the one we imagined for ourselves. For me, that future is at Jackson State University."

Hunter, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound prospect out of Collins High School, believes that HBCUs have a rich, impactful history and is excited to expand the legacy alongside Jackson State and Deion Sanders.

"Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a rich history in football," Hunter said in his post. "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 HBCUs may be everything you want and more."

Hunter joins a Jackson State football team that set a program record with 11 wins and captured the Southwestern Athletic Conference title for the first time since 2007. Additionally, for the first time, the Tigers have qualified for the Celebration Bowl and will face South Carolina State on Saturday in Atlanta.

With Sanders’ son Shedeur, a freshman quarterback, leading the offense as the 2021 Jerry Rice Award recipient, and the defense ranking as the SWAC’s best, Jackson State has gone 11-1, including 9-0 against conference opponents.

Sanders, who has been the Jackson State football head coach for just over a year, was named the 2021 recipient of the Stats Perform FCS Eddie Robinson Award, which is presented to the national coach of the year in the Division I subdivision.

Sanders felt like a no-brainer candidate for the award following his swift turnaround of the Tigers football program. The team has become incredibly resilient and competitive during his time as head coach and seemed prime for more success moving forward.

Next year, with five-star recruit Travis Hunter in tow, the Tigers look to do even more damage.

Led by Deion "Primetime" Sanders, expect Jackson State to become a primetime, box-office draw in their own right next season.

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I write about Dallas and Collin County sports, politics, interesting people, and environmental issues. I strive to shine a light on issues that are still in the dark and help to give a voice to the voiceless

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