Travis Hunter’s prime time moment

I’m not sure you’ll see many takes about Hunter’s decision to go the HBCU route as breathless as Dan Wetzel’s.

It was the most stunning college football recruiting decision in decades. No one turns down the richest and most successful programs in the country to sign with an HBCU. Well, they didn’t until now. And it may not take long before decisions like this, while still uncommon, aren’t that uncommon…

This is the first recruiting class that profit off name, image and likeness and maybe no one played this game better than Hunter. The speculation of what was committed to him reached into the seven figures, although what is real and realized remains to be seen. (Is he going to be in AFLAC commercials with his coach?)

What is undeniable is that Hunter made himself a massive star and cultural hero Wednesday and thus set the standard for players to rethink what NIL can do for them.

Yeah, well, and I thought Roquan Smith’s decision to forgo signing a national letter of intent was going to be the next big thing in college football.

That being said, it’s certainly a noteworthy decision, especially if it does turn out that NIL compensation played a role in it.  Except… what I can’t get past is the nagging feeling that if it really were a business decision, are we saying nobody could outbid little ol’ Jackson State?  If that’s the case, boy, don’t all those message board commenters who are positive Kirby Smart’s recruiting prowess stems from handing out bags of money left and right feel foolish this morning.

It’s a nice story, but I wonder how Hunter will feel about his decision in a season or two after compiling game tape for the NFL against subpar competition.  Or, for that matter, if Sanders leaves for greener coaching pastures.

37 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting

37 responses to “Travis Hunter’s prime time moment

  1. Just want to drop a comment to say, I grew up in the Jackson, Mississippi area and I will be forever grateful that my father would sometimes take me and my siblings to the Jackson State Homecoming Parade.

    The Sonic Boom of the South is the most electrifying marching band in the universe. And it’s NOT EVEN CLOSE.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Geezus

    He does still have the transfer rule to hedge against that.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I said it on another thread. Prime Time has his package deal for his next gig. Hire me and Travis Hunter comes with me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • By the way, I don’t care that he’s not at UGA. I’m glad he isn’t going somewhere where he may be on the other side of the field to help a Bama, an FSU or someone else. I never thought he was seriously considering UGA during the fall. He has made a terrible decision for a player of his caliber. That whole thing about iron sharpening iron is real.

      Liked by 1 person

      • CB

        Kids make it from small obscure programs all the time. Plus, his commitment was a publicity frenzy. If he has the chops to make it then he’ll make it, plus with the transfer portal he gets a mulligan. I don’t see how that could be construed as a terrible decision.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Where would you rather your athletically gifted child go if he had a choice – Alabama or Jackson State? (I intentionally left UGA and FSU out of this)

          I personally would rather my child go to a school where I know he is going to get the best of everything. Nutrition, medical care, academics, facilities, coaching, development, etc.?

          For me, I would be encouraging my young adult child to attend Alabama in that case.

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          • CB

            That’s fine, but labeling it a terrible decision is a bit much. Especially since there is an alleged 7 figure NIL deal in it for him and again the transfer portal is ready and waiting if it turns out to be a bad situation.

            Liked by 1 person

            • You don’t think he may have had high 6-figure NIL deals lined up somewhere like Alabama? It’s not like it’s $1m vs. $0.

              I do think he made a bad decision, and yes, he has the portal as a way to rectify it.

              I wouldn’t counsel my young adult child to do this. YMMV.

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              • PTC DAWG

                I too think this will prove out to be a bad decision.

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              • CB

                7 figures > 6 figures + transfer portal = who cares?

                I don’t know much detail or what he may or may not have had lined up elsewhere, but I’m probably telling my kid to take the low risk 7 figure option.

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                • Annabelle DeLine

                  That “iron sharpens iron” take is frankly terrible, borderline offensive, and reeks of sour grapes and/or ignorance. How about this fun saying: STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT.

                  This is a once in a lifetime business opportunity to take advantage of. The stars were perfectly aligned to make a play like this.

                  I would 100% tell my kid to take the 7-figure option that includes a get out of jail free card + coaching from the best to ever play the position.

                  Welcome to the current state of CFB. This is what we get in exchange for not having an official NFL minor league. I’m fine with it as it keeps the actual talent in the college game. The ship sailed on CBB because NIL didn’t come around until it was too late, and now it has a lot of catching up to do to ever be interesting again.

                  /rant

                  Liked by 5 people

                • Whatever. I have no idea what’s offensive about saying that competing against the best makes a player better.

                  Good for him for getting paid.

                  Liked by 1 person

          • And, by the way, compete every day against the best non-NFL players on the planet in practice every day and in the best conference.

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    • Spell Dawg

      Ding, ding, ding! Exactly what I told my FSU buddy, Coach Prime is angling on coming home in a year or two with an ace in his pocket. Norvell will not survive another season like this past one.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. PTC DAWG

    This is a joke…soon to be coming to a school you like.

    Like

  5. moe pritchett

    If the kids happy then it is what it is. Whether it’s a good move or not, i really can’t see how it affects me or probably UGA in any way; I don’t see a sudden flood of kids going to small schools. Kids want the bright lights and the cameras. This isn’t a “cause” business last I checked. . One thing is for sure….if the kid does transfer after a year or two it won’t be to FSU cause those folks be using gasoline to burn those bridges.

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  6. Granthams Replacement

    Playing in that league won’t be much different than playing Grayson. Oh course Travis will follow prime time to his next coaching job.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There is speculation that Sanders’ relationship with Barstool Sports may be the NIL funding source behind this decision. Like others have said above, Hunter can go one year and then always transfer to FSU after seeing what the payout looks like from the NIL deal was sold on to sign with Jackson State.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hogbody Spradlin

    Deion promised him that necklace from the AFLAC commercial.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. beatarmy92

    It’s not a high risk decision given the free one time transfer. If Deion leaves or the money dries up he can just leave.

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  10. ASEF

    Cornerback is the one position that can make this unique situation work. They largely play on an island, and if Deion is a good position coach, he can get the kid well down the road to being NFL-ready.

    Hunter’s best play would be to spend 2 years with Deion, do his reality TV thing, and then do a free-agent year with a high profile contender before early entry into the draft. Which I suspect is what we see from him.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. godawgs1701

    Makur Maker signed with an HBCU as the top prospect in college basketball, too. Well, he played two games at Howard until ruling himself out for the rest of the year with a groin injury. He’s now playing professionally internationally instead of playing college ball. For Hunter’s sake I hope that his experience at Jacksonville State will be what he’s imagining, but those schools aren’t able to offer the exposure and perks of major college ball. Maker seemed to be over it pretty fast. No matter what Hunter does at Jacksonville State, I don’t think there’s and doubt he’s already had the brightest spotlight day of his entire college career.

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  12. Or, you know…you could just take him for his word. An all time great convinced him to support a cause in the growth of HBU’s and for elite talent their is a solid path to the NFL. Hell, I don’t recognize half of the schools when players announce their name and college on MNF. For now, I applaud the decision…it was his to make. I applaud PrimeTime for what he’s done there.

    Liked by 4 people

    • If I remember correctly, at one time, didn’t Grambling, under the great Eddie Robinson, have the most players in the NFL of any one school? While the power 5 programs get the most press, NFL scouts seem, to me anyway, to have the ability to see past the headlines to gauge a player’s capabilities.

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  13. Gaskilldawg

    Hell, if the man concluded that he is happiest being at Jackson State who the hell am I to tell him go attend somewhere he thinks he will be less happy.
    Hunter never told me I need to move my law practice to a different city.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. uga97

    Its 1 guy. But FSU is right to let his ass walk. The big money schools will eventually respond to these, but only after the blue chippers start getting NIL poached more frequently. But the reality is tgat aint gonna happen much because the NFL pays more & there just aren’t many “Deion’s” HCs at FCS schools, with self invested companies, willing & able to put this kind of dough up.

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  15. Hobnail_Boot

    Too soon to know if this is a cause or a symptom.

    Either way, good for the young man.

    Like

  16. junkyardawg41

    The NIL deal was there this year — and it makes a lot of sense if Barstool ponied up the $1M+ NIL. The fact that he signed with Jackson State and Sanders was well worth the money spent. I don’t think the same money is going to be there in the future for something like this because the novelty will have worn off.

    Like