Travis Hunter, the No. 1 overall player in the 2022 college football recruiting class, pulled an early national signing day stunner Wednesday by flipping his commitment from Florida State to Jackson State.
Travis Hunter @TravisHunterJr
It’s OFFICIAL <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/jsu?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#jsu</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/gotigers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#gotigers</a> 🐅 <a href="https://twitter.com/jacksonstatefb?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jacksonstatefb</a> <a href="https://t.co/UTyzMPgVH6">pic.twitter.com/UTyzMPgVH6</a>
Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports first reported that FSU was informed of Hunter's decision Wednesday.
To make his decision official, Hunter tossed aside Florida State, Georgia and Auburn hats before donning a Jackson State hat:
Hunter is the top player in the 2022 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings, and while he is listed as a cornerback, he plays wide receiver on the offensive side as well.
Former Florida State star and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is Jackson State's head coach, and he pulled off one of the biggest coups for an FCS school in recent memory by landing a player of Hunter's caliber.
The electric Hunter is a 6'1", 165-pound athlete from Suwanee, Georgia, who has starred as a two-way player at Collins Hill High School.
Hunter committed to FSU in March 2020, but Jackson State has become a significantly more desirable option than it was nearly two years ago.
Sanders became Jackson State's head coach in September 2020, and after posting a 4-3 record in his debut season, he led the Tigers to an 11-1 mark, a SWAC title and a berth in the Celebration Bowl.
In many ways, Hunter is a similar player to Sanders, as Sanders was not only a shutdown corner but also an elite return man capable of playing snaps at wide receiver as well.
Andrew Ivins, the Southeast recruiting analyst for 247Sports, has compared Hunter to Charles Woodson, who won the Heisman Trophy at Michigan before starring in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers and becoming a Hall of Famer.
Woodson was primarily a cornerback in college, but he also starred as a receiver and punt returner, which could be similar to the role Hunter will have at Jackson State.
Per 247Sports, Hunter had 19 interceptions combined over the past three seasons in high school, and he is coming off a 2021 campaign that saw him finish with 76 receptions for 1,128 yards and 10 touchdowns after making 137 grabs for 1,746 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2020.
While FBS will continue to be the standard for most recruits, since it provides the opportunity to play for the top national title and draws more eyes in terms of NFL scouts, that a player like Hunter would choose Jackson State could go a long way toward making FCS schools, especially historically black colleges and universities, more competitive in recruiting.