‘Not into sacrificing our kids to get a check’

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Deion Sanders is in the process of building an HBCU football powerhouse at Jackson State. The Tigers under Sanders’ leadership have had back-to-back top-75 recruiting classes, the highest average attendance in FCS history, and finished with a program record 11 wins in 2021.

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said at SEC Media Days on Monday that the prospect of a matchup between the Rebels and Tigers would be “exciting.” Ole Miss and Jackson State have never played each other in football, despite being in the same state.

But what about playing Alabama, which is coached by Nick Saban? Saban and Sanders are set to appear in a new Aflac commercial together and seem to have made amends after Saban accused Sanders of paying a JSU player $1 million to attend the school.

Saban said Tuesday he’s “very much in favor” of scheduling in-state HBCUs such as Alabama A&M or Alabama State.

Deion Sanders at SWAC Media Day.

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“They’re not going to play us right now, we’re not ready for that,” Sanders said Thursday at SWAC Media Day. “No, no, not whatsoever, we’re not into sacrificing our kids to get a check.”

But, Sanders did not rule out the possibility completely. He said that he needs more time to prepare, especially for Saban.

“He’s got to give me another year. I’ve got to beef up in the front,” Sanders said. “The difference of Power Fives and HBCUs right now are those big guys in the middle. It’s not the quarterbacks, it’s not the receivers and DBs or the skill positions. It’s those big dogs in the middle. We’ve got to beef up that to be able to compete with something like that.”

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Deion Sanders vs. Nick Saban? Jackson State ‘not ready’ for Alabama

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