The fortunes of the Jackson State soccer program modified on September 21, 2020. JSU Athletic Director Ashley Robinson formally introduced the appointment of Deion Sanders. Sanders, a member of the Skilled Soccer Corridor of Fame, was taking his abilities as a head coach for the primary time to SWAC.
On the eve of his second anniversary with this system, Sanders thought in regards to the modifications he had seen in Jackson State (3-0, 1-0). It’s becoming that two years underneath Sanders’ management come after a dominant 66-24 win over Grambling State on Saturday. The second sport of Sanders’ tenure started with a 33-28 victory over Grambling State, JSU’s first win over rival SWAC since November 3, 2012.
“These guys we now have within the locker room now have a burning need to get to the subsequent stage,” Sanders mentioned. “They take this sport very severely. They know that this sport can save generations and provides wealth to generations. They’re critical about it, in contrast to once we first obtained right here.
There was no seriousness. There was no sense of urgency. There was no need to win and dominate in any respect. These guys we introduced right here have that. I’m happy with them. I’m happy with them not solely, I’m happy with the technical workers. ”
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Sanders and the Tigers confronted many challenges in his early years as face of the state of Jackson. His tenure started with a rocky 4-3 spring soccer season in 2021. The Tigers’ final two video games have been cancelled. Alcorn State was forfeited and the season finale was scratched towards Prairie View A&M as a result of a COVID-19 situation within the Jackson State program.
“The primary spring I can not even take into account it a season,” Sanders mentioned. I did not know them. They did not know me. It is like taking part in little soccer. We had a bunch of fellows within the dressing room who in all probability did not know what soccer was like and the nuances of the sport. We did what we did.”
The course of this system took a radical flip within the fall with Shedeur Sanders on the quarterback. The freshman helped lead the Tigers (11-2, 8-0) to their first SWAC Championship since 2007 and an 11-win season.
Shedeur was the primary HBCU participant to win the Jerry Rice Award for Finest New Scholar in FCS Soccer in December. He went 256-377 passes, accomplished 68% of his passes, together with 29 touchdowns with six interceptions and three,056 yards.
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Issues continued to enhance for “Coach Prime” as five-star recruit Travis Hunter dedicated to Jackson State lower than per week later. Hunter, the #1 recruit on the 247Sports Composite nationwide, instantly legitimized the ahead momentum that Deion introduced into this system. The Tigers generally is a vacation spot for the most effective expertise within the nation.
Hunter appeared in JSU’s inaugural 59-3 win over the Florida A&M however missed the Southern Heritage Traditional together with Saturday’s 22-point win over the Grambling State. Dion mentioned followers “could not” see the brand new star on Saturday.
The cornerback harm didn’t have an effect on the Jackson State protection. The Tigers allowed two offensive touchdowns of their first three video games. Nevertheless, Sanders nonetheless needs extra from his staff. An indication of how a lot expectations have elevated in his first two years as head coach.
“We do our greatest to tug collectively the halves of consistency,” Sanders mentioned. “The phrase of the week is consistency and that is what we would like.
“We could not get a fantastic begin. (We) typically lacked performances within the first half.”