Deion Sanders and the Making of Men
by Jean-Jacques Taylor
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Pub Date 10 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 05 Dec 2023
An exclusive insider account with unprecedented access to Deion Sanders and his players, over the course of one electrifying, near-perfect college football season.
Deion Sanders as a head coach is changing the game. Known for decades as one of the most iconic and spectacular playmakers in the NFL, today he's one of college football's most intriguing newsmakers. Sanders has quickly become a fascinating character by recruiting elite players and reviving the spirit and pride of forgotten fanbases and communities. Jackson State University is one of those places.
Back in the day, Jackson State boasted one of the nation's finest football programs. It was the home of NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton and a top pick for the country’s best and brightest student-athletes. But over the years, powerhouse teams and conferences came calling, and Jackson State—with its antiquated facilities and miniscule television coverage—could not compete. It was an irrelevant program.
In his two full seasons as JSU's head coach, Sanders achieved tremendous success and brought national attention to a suddenly rejuvenated football program. Television cameras turned up for national broadcasts, gameday attendance skyrocketed, the economic impact was in the tens of millions, JSU facilities received a makeover, and NFL scouts took renewed interest. Meanwhile, off the field, Sanders showed an uncanny ability to connect with his players emotionally. Weekly chat sessions about life and love became the norm. His unyielding commitment to guiding his young players to become exceptional men raised the bar on what parents and athletes should expect from college coaches. Now at Colorado, Sanders is preparing to do it all again.
With access that no other reporter has been granted, veteran sports journalist Jean-Jacques Taylor, takes readers inside one full season with Deion Sanders, to show the heart, mind, and culture of America's most daring football coach and his team of would-be champions.