Florida State head coach Mike Norvell didn't waste any time on the recruiting trail when he arrived in Tallahassee. The former Memphis coach reeled in the No. 4 cornerback in the country in Demorie Tate and was hot on the trail early in his career.
Then, he went and got a commitment from his most important pledge: Travis Hunter. However, in one of the wildest and most unprecedented stories in any signing period ever, the No. 1 overall player in the 2022 class announced on Early Signing Day (December 15, 2021) he was flipping his commitment and signing with Deion Sanders' FCS program Jackson State, which is an HBCU in Jackson, Mississippi.
The five-star cornerback is ranked the No. 1 cornerback in the nation and No. 1 overall recruit in the 2022 class by 247Sports. The Collins Hill High School (Suwanee, Georgia) just made college football history.
Travis Hunter Recruiting
— Travis Hunter (@TravisHunterJr) December 15, 2021
Travis Hunter fielded offers from NCAA schools across the country. Local schools like Georgia and Georgia Tech offered him as well as Power 5 programs like Florida, Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Hunter appeared dead-set on Florida State before Deion Sanders swooped in.
The cornerback received a scholarship offer from FSU in November 2019 and took an unofficial visit to Tallahassee on March 2. He committed to the 'Noles the following day, calling Florida State his "dream school." Florida State defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson had been pushing hard for the high school sophomore.
FSU football's coaching staff played a huge role in Hunter's commitment.
"[Mike Norvell] really knows the business and knows what he's talking about," Hunter told Rivals.com.
Hunter even called himself "the next Deion Sanders." He was, after all, invited to the Under Armour Future 50 and All-American Game. Still, Prime Time was one-of-a-kind.
Well, Hunter couldn't turn down the opportunity to play for his idol.
Travis Hunter Highlights
Travis Hunter is young, so his 165-pound weight isn't really a concern yet. He has plenty of time to fill out his 6-foot frame, which will play well in college.
After playing sparingly as a freshman, he broke out on both sides of the ball his sophomore season in 2019. Per MaxPreps, Hunter recorded seven interceptions, six passes defended and 36 tackles in 11 games. He even caught 49 passes for 919 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Hunter earned First-Team All-County honors from the Gwinnett Daily Post and the Touchdown Club of Gwinnett. He also played for the Eagles' varsity basketball team.
According to 247Sports' scouting report, his only real weakness is his weight:
"Is a pure ballhawk in the secondary with outstanding ball skills. Makes plays in coverage at a high rate and consistently comes down with the football in contested situations, whether its a jump ball or a grounded tight-window situation. Is a smooth, fluid mover in coverage and plays with a highly instinctive edge, reading the quarterback and oftentimes beating the receiver to his spot."
Living up to Neon Deion is a tall task, but it seems Hunter is ready to try.
Travis Hunter Commits to Jackson State
Absolute electricity from @TravisHunterJr as he commits to Jackson State.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) December 15, 2021
— MaxPreps (@MaxPreps) December 15, 2021
In what was a historic move for college football recruiting, the No. 1 prospect backed off his pledge to Florida State and chose FCS program Jackson State on Wednesday. Deion Sanders shocked the nation with this one.
"I want to be part of that history," Hunter wrote on his Twitter about joining an HBCU, "and more, I want to be part of that future. I am making this decision so I can light the way for others to follow."
He also mentioned he wanted to play for the "iconic" Deion Sanders.
The move comes on the heels of a reported massive NIL deal worth millions of dollars in partnership with Barstool Sports and Penn National Gaming. Mind you, Deion Sanders is on Barstool Sports' payroll.
Barstool Sports and Penn National Gaming have reached a deal with the #1 high school player in the nation, Travis Hunter.
— BeanInvest (@bean_invest) December 15, 2021
This commitment also comes just a day after FSU gave head coach Mike Norvell an extension. Maybe they'll want to rethink that one...and hire Neon Deion as their coach.
This post was originally published on March 19, 2020, but has been updated after Hunter's historic commitment.
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