During SWAC Media Day, Jackson State football head coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders spoke. He said that his team isn’t prepared to play against Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide. However, he is open to the possibility later on down the line.
“He’s not going to play us right now. We’re not ready for that. We’re not into sacrificing our kids to get a check. He got to give me another year,” Sanders stated.
Sanders had been responding to Saban “fielding a question” at SEC media days in relation to if he would be willing to play in-state HBCUs Alabama State and Alabama A & M.
“I think I can certainly see. We’ve tried to be very supportive… I’ve always been an advocate of playing in-state schools because I think it sort of helps them raise their level and their ability to compete…,” Saban said.
In 2021, Sanders’ Jackson State Tigers was one of the greatest HBCU football teams. They had an 11-2 record, won the SWAC and advanced to the Celebration Bowl. They then were beaten by South Carolina State.
Sanders has made great accomplishments at the university but says that size differential on the lines of scrimmage has prevented competitions with Power Five institutions.
“I got to beef up in the front. The difference in Power Fives and HBCUs right now is those big guys in the middle… We got to beef up that to be able to compete with something like that,” he added.
Ultimately, Sanders hopes his team moves to greater heights and plays against Division I-FBS programs. Although it may not be possible now, it seems as though it could occur under Sanders’ direction.