Jackson State

Deion Sanders offered, but Jackson State staff won Nireek Sharpe over

Former Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders offered Nireek Sharpe a spot in Colorado, but he declined. Here’s why.

Even without Deion Sanders, Jackson State is still a place that talented players want to go.

Jackson State picked up a solid three-star prospect as it continues to add to its 2023 recruiting class in Nireek Sharpe.

Nireek Sharpe is a three-star prospect out of Stockbridge, GA. He’s currently rated as the 131st-best cornerback in his class and the 146th-best prospect in the state of Georgia.

The 6’2, 175 pound defensive back had several Power Five offers, including Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Michigan State and Mississippi State, but ultimately chose Jackson State. 

Deion Sanders Jackson State
Deion Sanders offered Nireek Sharpe a chance to play at Colorado. (Steven J. Gaither/HBCU Gameday)

He says what won him over was the new-look Jackson State coaching staff. 

“What won me over was the staff,” Sharpe told On3. “It’s really just a great group of mentors. I see a group of men that can help great young men be successful, not just on the field but at life. I don’t think I’ve met a coaching staff like this. On top of that, it’s an HBCU. If I go there and ball, I’m putting on for the culture. A lot of people overlook HBCUs.”

That included an offer to join Jackson State’s former coach in Colorado.

“I respect coach Sanders, he’s a great person and he’s changing kids’ lives left and right,” Sharpe said. “When they left, I just wanted to see what the new staff had in store for the program. The eyes will be on Jackson State with everything going. People want to know how they’re going to progress with Deion gone. I feel like this is a great time to be at Jackson State. We’re about to witness something great.”

He’ll be joining a Jackson State defensive backfield that has lost almost all of the players that helped it win back-to-back SWAC titles under Deion Sanders over the past couple of seasons. Travis Hunter followed Deion Sanders to Colorado, as did cornerback Cam’Ron Simon-Craig while corners Isaiah Bolden and Dejuan Warren both exhausted their eligibility and are looking towards the NFL. 

That, plus Sharpe’s talent, means there should be plenty of opportunity for him to play early at new-look Jackson State.

Deion Sanders offered, but Jackson State staff won Nireek Sharpe over
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