Why Civil Rights Icon James Meredith Encouraged Deion Sanders to Coach Jackson State Football

In less than three years, coach Deion Sanders has had an impact on the Jackson State football program that makes it feel like he’s been there much longer.

His accomplishments at JSU have been bigger than just football. He’s thrust the school that produced Walter Payton, Lem Barney, Robert Brazile, and Jackie Slater back into the national spotlight. And he’s transformed the conversation around HBCU athletics in short order.

Consequences CD Series + Kingdom Values Book

Jackson State had a stretch from 2014 until Sanders’ arrival in 2020 when it didn’t have any winning seasons.

Now, following a program-record 11-win season and a string of other accomplishments that led to Sanders being named FCS coach of the Year, the prospect of Jackson State becoming the first HBCU to play at the FBS level doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

None of this surprises James Meredith, the civil rights icon who integrated Ole Miss after beginning his college career at Jackson State. He visited with Sanders shortly after his arrival in Jackson, and told the Pro Football Hall of Fame member just how impactful he could be.

“I told him it was the most important thing since James Meredith went from Jackson State to Ole Miss,” said Meredith.

Jackson State had never been to the Celebration Bowl, the de facto HBCU national championship game. Sanders led the Tigers there while capturing the program’s first SWAC title since 2007 and drawing an FCS-record 42,293 average home attendance along the way.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Khari Thompson

Encountering Jesus’ Names CD Series + Called for a Purpose Devotional

When you purchase a book below it supports the Number #1 Black Christian Newspaper BLACK CHRISTIAN NEWS NETWORK ONE (BCNN1.com) and it also allows us to spread the Gospel around the world.