For Deion Sanders, seeing Eddie George take the coaching job at Tennessee State University brought nothing but joy.
Sanders, the first-year head coach at Jackson State University, heard the official news of George’s new job on Monday’s SWAC conference call. And to him, it was something he and George had been discussing for a few weeks leading up to reports surfacing on Sunday. And according to Rashad Milligan of the Clarion Ledger (Jackson, Miss.), this was exactly what Sanders hoped for.
“I’m so excited,” Sanders told the newspaper. “The man that Eddie George is, forget the football player, just the man. Eddie's a good person, football aficionado and I'm pretty sure he's going to assemble a wonderful staff.”
See, Sanders has a vision, and the George hiring at TSU is the latest part of it to come to fruition.
In December, Sanders spoke to David Banner on The David Banner Podcast about his own decision to take the reins of a football program at a HBCU institution. “I want to provoke change,” he said.
Sanders sees a direct connection to George’s decision to enter the coaching ranks at TSU. And whatever change, on or off the field, the Tennessee Titans’ all-time leading rusher decides to make, it will be welcomed.
On the field, TSU needs it. The program wrapped up the 2020 football season with a 2-5 record, losing its final two games by an average margin of 18.5 points.
George won the Heisman Trophy in 1995 at Ohio State. He then went on to four Pro Bowls and made one All-Pro team with the Titans from 1996-2003. At the very least, he brings a wealth of football experience to the TSU locker room.
Yet outside of that, he also brings financial help to the school, as well as a real opportunity to elevate HBCU football in the public sphere.
Which was something Sanders spoke about stating that “he's happy for the student-athletes George will reach at Tennessee State, and he's happy for the financial help he'll be able to bring in and ultimately help raise the level for HBCU football,” according to Milligan.
It will be a few seasons before the full impact of the George hiring is seen at Tennessee State. But know that the positive words of a former NFL star turned HBCU football coach definitely mean that the move puts TSU on the right track going forward.
“This is a phenomenal move," Sanders said. "I'm not going to say it's a trend because you have to have the understanding, the love and the passion for it. So this is not like a fad what we're doing.”