The first football season of the Deion Sanders Era at Jackson State has come to an early end.
Jackson State has been forced to cancel its final game of the season against Prairie View. The cancelation is due to COVID-19 protocols and contract tracing within the JSU program.
This marks the first time all season that JSU has had to pull out of a game due to its own COVID-19 issues. The Prairie View game was originally scheduled to take place on March 27, but COVID-19 issues postponed that game.
Sanders praised the program’s handling of COVID-19 on Monday’s SWAC Media session.
“That goes to our training staff, the school protocol and doing something things that were very positive,’ he said. “Starting a little earlier than everyone else, getting the whole COVID matter under wraps. We did a phenomenal job with that.”
JSU will finish the season 4-3 overall. That includes the 2-0 win courtesy of the Alcorn State forfeit. This marks the first winning season for the program since 2013 when it won the SWAC East.
The season started with a blowout win over Edward Waters, then an upset of Grambling State. The season climaxed in Week Three as JSU blew out Mississippi Valley State and found itself nationally ranked.
Then, it got rough in the SWAC. JSU lost a nail-biter to Alabama State on ESPN 2. It then hosted back-to-back games on ESPN. It was beaten soundly by Southern at home, then lost in an exciting offensive showcase to Alabama A&M.
Even with the abrupt end to the spring season, Deion Sanders saw benefits in the spring season.
“Our evaluations are done 100 percent,” Sanders said on Tuesday. “We’re thankful that we had an opportunity to have the spring so that we can do pretty much an on-the-job interview. A live interview with referees, fans and everything and we’re thankful about it.”
With that information in hand, JSU is ready to build heading into the fall.
“We know what we need. We know what we have. We know what we’re recruiting so we’re happy about that.”
JSU will return to action on Sept. 5 when it faces Florida A&M in Miami at the Orange Blossom Classic.