How does Travis Hunter as an incoming freshman at Jackson State compare with Deion Sanders as an incoming freshman at Florida State in 1985? Pretty dern well, if you ask Coach Prime.
“Travis is so far ahead of me when I was his age is ridiculous,” Sanders told HBCU Gameday at SWAC football media day. “I wasn’t that — not at his age. I know this is going to go viral and it should. I was not that. That’s a grown man right there at that age.”
That’s pretty high praise for a man who revolutionized the cornerback position.
“Travis got it. I rarely say that, especially about somebody who plays my position. Travis got it,” Sanders continued. “He got it as an athlete. He has it as a person. Travis is a great young man and a great athlete. Usually, that great athlete may be an idiot. That great athlete don’t want to study, don’t want to prepare. That great athlete, don’t want to work, don’t want to hit the weights, don’t want to be in condition.”
The rising freshman showed up at SWAC Media Day in a walking boot thanks to a high ankle-sprain (he’s not expected to miss any game time) and with last season’s SWAC Freshman of The Year, Shedeur Sanders. The top prospect from the 2022 class is pretty low-key at this point, but his coach can definitely pick up the slack in that area.
One of the things Deion Sanders likes about Travis Hunter is his willingness and desire for coaching.
“This kid has it. His mother has done a phenomenal job with raising a man that wants it all. Not some of it. I mean, when a guy calls me over, when I’m usually positioned behind the defense or behind the quarterback, to watch the plays develop to his side of the field so I can watch him work so I can get on his butt. That’s what he wants. He wants it.
No doubt, Hunter is super-talented. But better than a young Deion Sanders? Well, according to the man himself, there is one area he has an edge over his new prized pupil. He says Hunter isn’t quite as fast, but he does have some advantages too.
“Faster?” Sanders said of himself? “Yeah, foot speed, yeah. But all that offense and defense? Not only that, but with someone with a navigational system, that’s been there, done that? That knows the destination? Not only that, someone that’s willing to allow him to exploit every durn asset and ability that he has…”
Sanders is talking about himself, of course. The Pro Football Hall of Famer has a point.
“He has that and me as a coach. I ain’t have all that. And I see what he has as a young man,” he continued. “So it’s my job to navigate him through this path called life and make sure he reaches the pinnacle that kid has it. And everybody is going to have the opportunity to see it.”