Carl Reed of 24/7 Sports was the first to report (confirmed by Sports Talk Florida) that Jackson State coach Deion Sanders, and his representatives have been in contact with and have had initial conversations with the University of South Florida about their head coaching job. At present his Jackson State team is a perfect 11-0 this season and “Coach Prime,” has landed some top name talent to come play for him at the HBC school.
This is far from a done deal but lets just have some fun and role with this very interesting buzz that would be great if it works out.
South Florida Athletic Director Mike Kelly is well thought of in college football circles and watching rival Central Florida getting the invite to the Big 12 while the Bulls remain in the American Athletic Conference had to sting. Making a big splash at this Saturday’s War on I-4 by landing Sanders would show the college football world USF is going “Primetime,” so that the next round of conference realignment will include the Bulls.
The Bulls are just four years removed from four straight bowl appearances but the timing cost them big time. USF had a great 11-2 in 2016, under Willie Taggert, who left for Oregon, then Charlie Strong came in from Texas and posted 10-2 in 2017, followed by 7-6 in 2018 and in 2019 a 4-8 season cost him his job. Enter Clemson offensive coordinator Jeff Scott and despite his tireless work things only got worse 2020 and was 1-8, 2021 posted 2-10 and this season 1-9 before getting fired.
Strong and Scott on paper were outstanding coaches with top notch credentials but for some reason things never worked out on the field. Now with so much on the line Kelly and his group understand that this might be the most important hire in the school’s football history.
Sanders, who is both a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well as the College Football Hall of Fame has deep Suncoast roots as a star at Ft. Myers High School where he caught the eye of legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden who brought him to Tallahassee. While playing for the Seminoles was a two-time consensus All-American cornerback in 1987 and 1988 while also playing baseball for Mike Martin.
He spent 14 years in the NFL and nine years in Major League Baseball with the distinction of being the only athlete to play in both a World Series and a Super Bowl.
It should be noted that Colorado in the Pac 12 have also had conversations with Sanders representatives. But the future of the Buffalos is uncertain as both USC and UCLA are leaving for the Big Ten, making the future of the conference very unclear plus Sanders recruiting sweet spot is the South which plays into the favor of USF.
We hope that this plays out for the Bulls but if it doesn’t there are still other coaches that can get it done at USF but Coach Prime has that buzz he always has.