Deion Sanders Denies Recruit Travis Hunter Got $1.5M NIL Contract from Jackson State

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 16, 2021

Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders walks the field during an NCAA football game against Louisiana Monroe on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Monroe, La. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
AP Photo/Matthew Hinton

Despite rumors about top recruit Travis Hunter getting a $1.5 million name, image and likeness contract to go to Jackson State, head coach Deion Sanders denied the reports Thursday on ESPN's KJM (3:21):

"That's the biggest lie I've ever heard," Sanders said. "You know what that is, that means we kicked your butt, we took what was ours and now you gotta make up an excuse why. Ain't nobody got no million and a half. I wouldn't pay my son a million and a half."

The quote comes after Hunter announced Wednesday he would attend Jackson State after previously being committed to Florida State.

Travis Hunter @TravisHunterJr

It’s OFFICIAL <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/jsu?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#jsu</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/gotigers?src=hash&amp;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>

Hunter is considered the No. 1 overall player in the 2022 class, per 247Sports composite rankings. The 6'1" athlete plays both cornerback and receiver with the potential to excel at either at the next level.

The Georgia native earned scholarship offers from nearly every top program in the country, including Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and more, but he shocked the world by choosing to play for an HBCU.

The surprising move led to immediate speculation about a payoff, but Sanders denied the rumors.

As Sanders explained, it was a normal recruiting situation, and Hunter especially enjoyed going to Jackson State's homecoming game.

The Tigers have also been thriving under Sanders, who took over as head coach in 2020. The squad went 11-1 this year, winning its first SWAC title since 2007.

Hunter is the first 5-star prospect to sign with an FCS school since ESPN began its rankings in 2006, per ESPN's Tom VanHaaren.