Deion Sanders said he probably would've been a 3-star prospect in high school. Here's why – Clarion Ledger

Long before Deion Sanders established himself as one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever play the game, he was a quarterback at North Fort Myers high school. 
The athleticism that earned him the nickname “Prime Time” was there, but he had yet to find the niche that took his game to a whole other level. 
That perspective, he said, is why he doesn’t focus on recruiting rankings when he recruits players at Jackson State. Recruiting rankings as we know them weren’t around back in his day. 
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“I ain’t got time for that,” Sanders said in a YouTube interview with comedian Desi Banks. “Because I probably would have been a three-star coming out. Because I played quarterback and I wasn’t going to college as a quarterback. So I wasn’t probably no five-star.” 
Still, Sanders has shown that he can recruit four and five star players. He signed the nation’s top overall prospect, five-star cornerback Travis Hunter in January. Sanders also signed four-star receiver Kevin Coleman, who is ranked No. 6 nationally at his position.
Overall, he’s landed eight commitments from players rated four-stars or higher since taking over at JSU in 2020.
Sanders said when he’s evaluating players, he’s looking to see if they are smart, tough, fast, disciplined, with good character. 
“We’re looking for those type of kids,” Sanders said. “I’m looking for the young Desi Banks that’s got it together mentally. He may not be that diamond that’s shining right now, but I can polish him and in about a year, or year and a half he’s going to be straight. He doesn’t need 3, 4, 5-stars. I don’t need that. I just need you to want it and look me in the eye and mean what you want.”
James Houston, the first Jackson State football player selected in the NFL Draft during the Deion Sanders-era was a three-star prospect coming out of high school. So was Keith Corbin, who signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent.
Sanders said he’s focused on developing more than just future pro football players at Jackson State. He noted that with the changing landscape in college football, many recruits are more focused on money than ever before. And sometimes, the place that pays the most is different from the place that is the best fit. 
“95% of these kids are not going pro. So I’ve got to build a man and get him ready for life. But see, it’s a whole different game. When you’re recruiting these kids now, and their family members or whoever their significant person is, now it’s about NIL. It’s ain’t about what’s best for the kid, it’s about how much money I’m going to get.
“It’s a whole different game, which devastating to these kids because some kids are going to a different place because they got a bag and that place doesn’t even fit your style of play.” 

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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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