Travis Hunter’s decision to sign with Jackson State was nothing short of historic. He’s the first No. 1 overall prospect in the recruiting rankings era to choose an HBCU.
Terrell Owens, the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, thinks it’s a feat that very few coaches in the country could pull off. He, Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe, and three-time Pro Bowler Hugh Douglas discussed the matter in a video chat on HANG.
“[For Deion to] go into that young man’s home who looks like him and have the conversation with his mom, there’s not a white coach that can go into a black man’s home and do what Deion did, that’s very special,” said Owens.
“They got to have someone like Deion with them to relate for them,” added Doug Williams, the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl.
Douglas said Sanders can communicate with recruits in a unique way.
FACTS ABOUT TRAVIS HUNTER: 5 things to know about Travis Hunter’s unprecedented decision to commit to Jackson State football
“He said something that really resonated with me,” Douglas said. “Someone that speaks his language. Somebody he can communicate on a level you can’t communicate with like any other coach. The fact that Deion comes to town, you got Young Jeezy come speak to the kids, you’ve got T.I. come speak to the kids and it’s a genuine conversation about life.
“You have (Brittany Renner) come to them and talk about some real stuff. I know a lot of people that probably looked at that initially, they were probably shocked about that. But for them to come in and tell these kids about what they’re going to potentially be facing in life, I don’t see Dabo Swinney or anybody else being able to relate to them on that level like that.
Sharpe, who is an HBCU graduate of Savannah State, said that Sanders’ status as an all-time great NFL player helps the recruiting pitch.
“You’re talking about somebody who’s credentialed beyond credentials, he’s a Hall of Famer, he’s universally regarded as the best corner to ever play, and he says, “I believe your son can play on the next level. I want to help him achieve that goal but I also want to help him achieve becoming a man.”
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Terrell Owens: No white coach could recruit Travis Hunter like Deion Sanders