Top college football recruit Travis Hunter shocked the sports world Wednesday by announcing that he is headed to Jackson State instead of Florida State, where he had previously committed. Hunter’s decision to play for an FCS school is a historic one, possibly fueled by a massive name, image and likeness deal.

Hunter ranks as Rivals’ No. 1 recruit in the 2022 class and the No. 2 overall recruit on ESPN’s rankings. The best high school defensive back will play for Hall-of-Fame cornerback Deion Sanders, who has led Jackson State to an 11-1 record in the 2021 season as the team’s head coach.

Jackson State will play South Carolina State in the Celebration Bowl in the only game on this year’s bowl schedule that features a pair of FCS teams. Prior to Hunter’s announcement, no five-star recruit in the 15-year history of ESPN’s rankings had ever signed with an FCS program.

"Florida State has always been a beacon for me. I grew up down there, that's where I'm from and I never doubted I would play for the Seminoles," Hunter said in a statement on Twitter. “It's a dream that is hard to let go of, but sometimes we are called into a bigger future than the one we imagined for ourselves. For me, that future is at Jackson State.

"Jerry Rice, Doug Williams and, of course, the legend, JSU's own Walter Payton. Historically black colleges and universities have a rich history in football. I want to be a part of that history and more. I want to be a part of that future. I am making this decision so that I can light the way for others, 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."

There is speculation that Hunter will be getting a lucrative deal at Jackson State. Sanders works for Barstool Sports, which has signed many college athletes to NIL deals since the summer when NCAA athletes officially became allowed to profit off their own likeness.

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy offered a “no comment” when asked about the rumor that Hunter has inked an NIL deal with Barstool worth seven figures.

Deion Sanders
Deion Sanders made eight Pro Bowls and All-Pro teams in the span of a 13-year NFL career. Reuters