Jackson State coach Deion Sanders thinks the NFL needs to do a better job of recognizing the talent coming out of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Sanders said yesterday at Jackson State’s Pro Day that while he was pleased to see 22 teams represented, he was not happy with the 10 NFL teams that didn’t send scouts to see his players. Sanders also said that last year’s draft, which didn’t see a single player from an HBCU drafted, was unacceptable.
“That’s not gonna happen again. It’ll never happen again. I know for the pandemic year we got an excuse, but that’s not gonna happen again. My desire is 7-10 players this year drafted, then we’ll try and double that, and then the sky’s gonna be the limit,” Sanders said on NFL Network.
Sanders said he wants more exposure for HBCUs, and said that Jackson State’s spring game will be televised this year. He also said he wants HBCU players — not just Jackson State players, but players from other HBCUs — to attend the draft.
“I need at least four of our schools and their coaches represented, to bring the player they think is draftable, we’ve got to bring them to the draft. Because I want the kids to see it, I want them to feel it, I want them to touch it, I want them to witness it live, so they can say, ‘I can do that,’” Sanders said. “NFL Network, come on, make it happen.”
Sanders has done an excellent job at Jackson State, winning SWAC Coach of the Year last year and then stunning the college football recruiting world by convincing Travis Hunter, viewed by some as the single best player in this year’s recruiting class, to spurn Florida State and awaits Jackson State. And now Sanders has bigger plans for the way he’s going to generate attention for his program, and other HBCU programs.