Earlier today (Dec. 15), Hunter–who was scouted by various schools, including Florida State and Clemson–revealed the university to which he would ultimately sign: Jackson State. Hunter had been committed to FSU for nearly two years.
— Maria Martin (@Ria_Martin) December 15, 2021
The #1 football recruit committing to an HBCU is big news, mainly because most high-ranking players sign to predominantly white institutions PWIs.
For instance, over the past six years, the top recruits have signed with either Ohio State, Clemson, Georgia State, UCLA, or the University of Michigan. Furthermore, a look at the top-ranking recruits from 2000 onwards shows that no one committed to an HBCU.
However, Hunter broke this trend by signing to JSU. Since the news broke, a clip of his announcement has begun circulating on social media, and many viewers share in the audience’s excitement. It’s also worth noting that he gets some extra kudos for making his revelation so suspenseful!
On Tuesday night, Coach Deion Sanders made a history prediction hours before the early national signing period.
“We’re going to shock the country,” the Jackson State coach told Barstool Sports
What he has in store will be on “every news station” pic.twitter.com/sJB1KBcv7K
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) December 14, 2021
Following his announcement, the athlete further elaborated on choosing JSU over FSU in a post on social media.
“Florida State has always been a beacon for me. I grew up down there, that’s where my roots are, and I never doubted that I would play for the Seminoles,” Hunter wrote. “It’s a dream that is hard to let go of, but sometimes we are called to step into a bigger future that the one we imagined for ourselves. For me, that future is at Jackson State University.”
Hunter reportedly visited Jackson State in November to watch the team’s victory over Alcorn State and clarified the importance of signing with an HBCU despite his initial plans to play for Florida State.
“Jerry Rice, Doug Williams, and, of course, JSU’s own Walter Payton – Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a rich history in football,” Hunter wrote. “I want to be part of that history, and more, I want to be part of that future.
“I am making this decision so that I can light the way for others to follow,” Hunter stated. “Make it a little easier for the next player to recognize that HBCUs may be everything you want and more: an exciting college experience, a vital community, and a life-changing place to play football.”
— Travis Hunter (@TravisHunterJr) December 15, 2021
Travis Hunter signed to JSU on the heels of the Mississippi-based HBCU winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) earlier this month, as Blavity previously reported.
“I look forward to working with the iconic Deion Sanders, and especially along with my fellow Tigers,” Hunter concluded in his post. “Along with Coach Prime, they have made me feel like I’m already a part of the team, and like I’m home. And I can’t wait to welcome the next class of top athletes into the family of HBCUs.”
The team’s success would not have been possible without Deion Sanders, who was notably named the SWAC’s Coach of the Year just last month. Sanders became Jackson State’s head football coach back in 2020, and he has been an outspoken advocate for increased HBCU recognition in sports since his appointment.
Sanders made headlines back in May for accusing the NFL of overlooking HBCU athletes in the 2021 draft, as Blavity previously reported.
“Our kids are being NEGLECTED & REJECTED,” Sanders wrote on his Instagram. “I witnessed a multitude of kids that we played against that were more than qualified to be drafted. My prayers are that This won’t EVER happen again. Get yo knife out my back and fight with me, not against me!”