As Jackson State continues to pile up wins, the interest from Power 5 programs continues to grow for Tigers head coach Deion Sanders.
Jackson State shutout Southern, 35–0, Saturday that included a visit and celebration of HBCU culture from ESPN’s College Gameday prior to the contest. On Monday, two days after JSU’s dominant win, Auburn fired football coach Bryan Harsin after 21 games.
However, prior to Harsin’s departure, Sanders had been linked to the Auburn job at the beginning of October. When asked if the Tigers from The Plains had reached out to Sanders about becoming the program’s next coach during his weekly news conference, the Pro Football Hall of Famer skillfully dodged the question.
“I’ve heard from the Tigers … Jackson State Tigers … I thought you was talking about Jackson State, my bad,” Sanders told reporters. ”Freudian slip.”
Sanders’s response Tuesday about Auburn’s interest in him comes after he stated in the program’s 60 Minutes segment as well as on the set of Gameday that he would entertain other Power 5 opportunities.
“I’d be a fool and a liar to tell you I’m not going to entertain those things because I am,” Sanders said. “But I have made no plans to move or go anywhere.”
While Sanders remains at JSU, he does consider being in discussions for higher-level jobs a “blessing.”
“Too many African American coaches from HBCUs have been attached to anything concerning the Power 5,” Sanders said. “… We love to do the things that have not been done around here at Jackson State.”
Sanders is in his third season as the Tigers’ head coach, and each year the program has improved. He is 21–5 at Jackson State, which includes a SWAC championship in 2021 and an 8–0 start, the first time in school history.
Others such as Bo Jackson and Joel Klatt have previously stated that JSU’s coach would be a good fit at Auburn. But for now, despite the numerous headlines and association with Power 5 jobs, Sanders remains focused on the JSU Tigers.
“My name has been attached to many things in life also a whole lot of headlines,” Sanders said. “This is not new to me. I’m good. I just got to make sure my coaches stay locked in and focused.”
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