Reggie Bush weighed in on the USC head coaching search, and the former running back has a somewhat surprising candidate he’d like to see considered for the role.
Bush vouched for Jackson State coach Deion Sanders to take over at USC, citing his ability to recruit and bring quality players to the Trojans.
“I do believe there is a coach out there that can help restore USC to its greatness,” Bush said on FOX’s “Big Noon Kickoff,” via Matt Howe of 247 Sports. “I believe Deion Sanders can be that person. He can be that person. When you think about what he’s done at Jackson State right now, Jackson State has the No. 55 recruiting class in the nation. They’re one ahead of Kansas State, which has a significantly much-larger budget than Jackson State does.
“But what does that tell you? That tells you Deion knows how to recruit. Let’s just use this as an example. Deion Sanders is the head coach at USC. He walks into your house and says, ‘Matt (Leinart), I want you to come play and be the starting quarterback at USC.’ What are you going to say? … You’re gonna say yes.”
There is no question that Sanders has succeeded in elevating Jackson State’s profile and bringing in a higher caliber of player there. However, he’s still very inexperienced as a head coach, untested at a higher level, and prone to somewhat strange controversies.
It seems logical that the Trojans would target someone a bit more experienced at a higher level of college football for a longer period of time. That fits with the name that is reportedly at the top of the school’s list.
New York Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett had an awkward exchange with a reporter this week, and Ron Rivera may have thrown a friendly jab at him on Sunday. It’s also possible that the Washington Football Team coach was trolling Deion Sanders.
As Rivera was exiting his Sunday press conference, a reporter thanked him and called him “Ron.” Rivera joked that he would rather be called “coach.”
Garrett was wrapping up his press conference with the media earlier this week and said “good to see you guys” before walking off. He then needled reporters for not showing the same type of enthusiasm.
Some interpreted that to mean Garrett wants to be called “coach,” but ESPN’s Todd Archer said that was not the case. He said Garrett always greets the media like that and was giving them a hard time for not saying “good to see you” back. Still, Rivera may have been taking a shot at his division rival.
Or, Rivera could have been trolling Sanders, who recently made a huge fuss about being called by his name rather than “coach.” Sanders later sent a cryptic tweet in which he appeared to deny being angry.
Whatever the case, Sunday’s quip from Riverboat Ron was well timed.
Deion Sanders walked out of SWAC Media Day on Tuesday for a very surprising reason, and the Jackson State coach appeared to address the issue in a tweet.
Sanders was apparently upset that a reporter called him “Deion” while he was fielding questions. On Wednesday morning, the Hall of Famer sent a cryptic tweet about “respect.”
A story from the Mississippi Clarion Ledger’s Langston Newsome said Sanders scolded a reporter for calling him “Deion.” Sanders told the reporter that he would not call Nick Saban “Nick” and that Sanders should be treated with the same level of respect. On Tuesday night, Sanders shared a video of the exchange between him and Nick Suss of the Clarion Ledger. The clip showed the coach laughing about the situation, though he did appear to stand up and leave the video conference.
It’s possible that Sanders simply has a problem with the Clarion Ledger. The news outlet claimed in a later story on Tuesday that one of its reporters has been barred from covering Jackson State football in the wake of a story about a domestic violence charge against a recruit.
Whatever the case, it was quickly proven that plenty of reporters call Nick Saban “Nick.” The video compilation below shows that:
There was some speculation that Sanders may have been cracking a joke, as a reporter flipped out last year over the way someone addressed Saban during a news conference. However, it appears there is a lot more to it than that.
Deion Sanders is a very particular guy.
The Jackson State head coach participated in SWAC Media Day event at the Sheraton-Birmingham on Tuesday. But he walked out of the event over what he was called.
According to a story by the Mississippi Clarion Ledger’s Langston Newsome, Sanders was upset about being called “Deion” by a reporter. He apparently walked out of the event after being called “Deion” for a second time.
“You don’t call Nick Saban, ‘Nick.’ Don’t call me Deion,” Sanders told Nick Suss from the Clarion Ledger.
“If you call Nick (Saban), Nick, you’ll get cussed out on the spot, so don’t do that to me,” Sanders later added. “Treat me like Nick.”
This is somewhat of a strange gripe for Sanders, largely because his portrayal of Saban is inaccurate. Plenty of people call the Alabama coach “Nick,” especially in a media setting.
Maybe Deion was just trying to make a joking reference to the reporter who flipped out last year about Coach Saban’s name.
The Atlanta Falcons appear to be on the verge of trying Julio Jones, and a situation could arise where they let the Pro Bowler chose his next team if there are multiple similar offers. Deion Sanders has some advice for Julio Jones on how to handle that opportunity should it arise.
Jones admitted on live TV this week (perhaps unintentionally) that he wants the Falcons to trade him so he has a chance to win somewhere. Sanders said Jones is right to want to go to a winning franchise, but he cautioned him against joining a team that plays outdoors in a cold climate.
The Patriots were considered the betting favorite to land Jones as of Friday. While Sanders thinks they would be a good fit for the 33-year-old from a culture standpoint, he obviously thinks the New England weather could present issues for Jones.
Several NFL stars have been recruiting Jones like he’s a free agent, but he does not have a no-trade clause. The Falcons are going to take the best offer, as they should.
Deion Sanders has been making noise at Jackson State ever since taking over the program. His Tigers are 2-0 so far this spring season, which is Sanders’ first as a head coach. The program also received a visit from a former NFL head coach this week.
Rex Ryan was at JSU on Monday and Tuesday, according to The Clarion Ledger. Two of Jackson State’s defensive coaches, defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and defensive line coach Jeff Weeks, were coaches on Ryan’s staff previously.
Ryan and Sanders also have a good relationship from when Deion played for the Ravens when Rex was their defensive coordinator.
“It’s just a friend visiting a friend that’s all,” Sanders said, via The Clarion Ledger. “He coached me when I was in Baltimore, and I loved him. He was so candid, honest and straightforward. He’s a darn Ryan. What do you think you’re going to get from Rex?”
Sanders showed his support for Rex last year when he said the Falcons should hire Ryan as their head coach. Atlanta ended up hiring Arthur Smith as their head coach.
In addition to Ryan, Sanders is getting some support from other well-known NFL figures.
Deion Sanders’ coaching career is off to an incredible start, and Coach Prime is clearly loving every second of it.
On Saturday, Sanders took his Jackson State team to Grambling State, one of the traditional SWAC powers. The Tigers had not lost a home game since 2015, but Sanders’ Jackson State team shocked them with a 33-28 win. The victory was punctuated by a goal line stand that saw them force a fumble at their own 2-yard line to stop Grambling State from scoring a go-ahead touchdown.
Coach Prime was pumped, to say the least.
The win moves Jackson State to 2-0 on the spring season, and they suddenly look like a legitimately solid football game. Sanders is clearly doing good work and bringing visibility that they didn’t have before. Hopefully there’s no postgame drama like there was last weekend.
Deion Sanders coached his first game as a college football coach on Sunday, and the day went perfect — almost.
Sanders’ Jackson State squad won 53-0 against Edward Waters. After the game, a furious Sanders said his belongings were stolen from the locker room.
This will definitely take the shine off the day for Sanders. Given how angry he was, expect a full investigation in the days to come.
Sanders is trying very hard to instill a strong culture at Jackson State. The win will help, but so will eliminating off-field drama like this, even if no one from the program was involved.
Update: A Jackson State official told WAPT’s Nick Niehaus that Sanders’ personal items have been recovered.
Deion Sanders has certainly brought a lot of attention to Jackson State since taking the school’s head coaching position, but the jury is still out on whether he’ll actually bring success with him. One person who knows both Sanders and the state of Mississippi well is convinced that Sanders will be a huge success.
Brett Favre, who played with and was mentored by Sanders during their one season in Atlanta together, is so confident that Sanders will be a success that he’s disappointed the former cornerback didn’t wind up coaching Southern Miss, Favre’s alma mater.
“I tried my best to get Deion to be the head coach at Southern Miss,” Favre told Nick Suss of the Mississippi Clarion Ledger. “Not because he’s my friend. I don’t know what kind of coach he’ll be. But if I was a betting man, I’d bet the farm that he’ll be a tremendous coach but an even better mentor to these young men.”
Favre helped connect Sanders with some contacts in Jackson upon taking the job. The former Green Bay Packers quarterback added that the best coaches he played under were great mentors, and he sees that quality in Sanders.
One thing is for sure: Sanders is already finding some recruiting success. His Jackson State team will open its unusual spring season Sunday against Edward Waters, and we’ll see how he handles in-game coaching.
By the looks of things, Deion Sanders is very determined to create his own culture at Jackson State.
The football icon is in the midst of his first full offseason as Jackson State’s head coach. He has yet to actually coach a game due to the cancellation of the football team’s 2020 season, but he is very clearly putting his stamp on the program based on the messages he’s sending out on social media.
Coaching at an HBCU is definitely a unique challenge due in large part to the financial disparity with more powerful programs. Still, Sanders seems to be something of an equalizer. He’s begun to attract some pretty impressive recruits to the program ahead of his first season of on-field action.
We have no idea how Sanders will do in terms of the daily ins and outs of coaching. Unsurprisingly, the guy attracts recruits, and he has high demands of them. This will be a program to watch in 2021.