When Travis Hunter visited Jackson State this fall, it was viewed as a nice story for Deion Sanders, HBCU football and the future of college football recruiting.
Later that evening, a source spoke to Sports Illustrated and said the potential flip of the nation's top football recruit to the FCS program was a legitimate possibility.
We didn't follow up.
On Wednesday, that possibility became one of the biggest stories in modern recruiting history, as Hunter announced his commitment to Jackson State University, flipping from Florida State. Led by Sanders, the program has picked up recruiting momentum and has become a popular destination for transfers, but even Sanders had to be caught off guard by the development.
He did tease it on Tuesday evening, however, with Barstool Sports, saying he would "shock the country."
"I'm telling you right now, you've heard it from me, we're going to shock the country. Every news station, I promise you..." he said.
A day later, after Hunter's 21-month long commitment to Mike Norvell and the Seminole program ended, Sanders looks like the next great college football recruiter—or at least the orchestrator of the biggest recruiting flip/victory/commitment the internet has been around for.
Hunter announced his plans Wednesday afternoon at a high school ceremony.
On the field, Hunter is untenable, part of the reason FSU fought off Georgia, Florida and droves of other programs for his commitment in the first place and certainly thereafter. At 6' 1", 180 pounds or so, he is a dominant threat on both side of the football as a wide receiver and cornerback prospect and the work on both ends helped Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill High School to a state championship last weekend.
Now, whether you consider him the nation's top receiver, as SI does, or among the best defensive backs in the country—the freshman hype train has begun for one of the most naturally gifted football players scouted in the modern era. Hunter isn't lacking in the confidence department, either, something that of course will remind many of his future coach in Sanders.
"I feel like I'm the best guy in the class," Hunter says. "I feel like I can do anything you need me to do. I can impact a team in multiple ways, by playing offense and defense.
"I think I'll be the best to ever do it, the best to play two ways."
Jackson State confirmed the signature of Hunter via Twitter later on Wednesday afternoon.
SI All-American Evaluation
Rare. It fits Hunter's description just about across the board in every type of football setting. There are many great two-way prospects in the class of 2022, even among wide receiver/defensive back types, but the only one with the chance to sit atop a ranking at either spot would be the Florida State commitment. Valuing the floor and college production, our staff feels better with the offensive projection for the dynamic athlete at this time. Hunter offers generational juice at every level of the defense as a wide receiver. He is a nightmare to track at the line due to superb quickness, often displays elite speed and flashes some of the best body control and ball skill combinations one could imagine. When he's not creating ideal separation with his stop-start twitch, which isn't easy to find on tape or in person, he offers a wide catch radius and margin for error for his quarterback thanks to length, mature awareness, strong hands and the ability to play vertical like a prospect four inches taller could. Hunter is a special athlete no matter where he lines up.