© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Top football recruit Travis Hunter de-commits from FSU and heads to Jackson State and Coach Prime

A man in a red suit and a blue baseball cap has his arm raised as a mother man in a white shirt and a blue baseball cap looks on.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders looks around for his players during the second half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against Prairie view A&M, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Jackson, Miss. Jackson State won 27-10. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

One of the nation’s top high school football recruits, Travis Hunter, will no longer be a Seminole in the Fall. Hunter announced his commitment to Jackson State University Wednesday afternoon, where he will play for head coach Deion Sanders.

Sanders was a two-time consensus All-American cornerback when he played for Florida State University from 1985-1988.

Hunter made the announcement alongside his teammates at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia. Since March 2020, Hunter had been committed to FSU and remained in Florida State’s recruiting class despite interest from the University of Georgia, located in his home state. He immediately becomes the most highly touted recruit in Jackson State’s 2022 class and will be considered one of the most talented recruits to ever commit to a historically black college or university.

In an announcement on his Twitter account, Hunter acknowledged that Florida State has “always been a beacon” for him, but said his future is at Jackson State. He also referenced football stars that played their college football at HBCU’s, including Jerry Rice, Doug Williams, and Walter Payton (who played at Jackson State from 1971 to 1974).

Weeks before today's announcement in an interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting, Hunter was asked why he committed to Florida State.

“I’m going to go ahead and rebuild the program like Deion Sanders did when he was there," Hunter said of his then-decision. "I’m going to go make a statement and show everybody that I can go anywhere and play any football which is something that I’ve always want[ed] to do – is play for Florida State.”

Hunter is the first five-star recruit to attend a Division I FCS school and will be one of the most talented players to ever commit to a historically black college or university.

Speaking during a press conference later in the day, FSU head football coach Mike Norvell touted the team's new signees.

"This is a class that addressed a lot of the needs we had," he said. "I really like where we started and am excited about what we've seen today."

This is the first National Signing Day to take place in the Name, Image, and Likeness era and comes after the NCAA allowed student-athletes to profit from their talents without hurting their eligibility to play. When asked how the program addresses players who've been committed for a long time but don't sign, and the impact it has on other signees, Norvell talked around the issue.

"I'm just grateful for every young man that I've gotten to sit in their homes and got a chance share the opportunity of what Florida State has to offer. We've had 14 great young men who've joined our program today, and that's going to be our focus and what we're going to continue to push forward with and make sure that each young man who comes into our program is the right fit and is helping continue to build our program to where it needs to go, and I am excited about that group, today."

Follow @bgrutherford99

Brett Rutherford is a reporter and news researcher at WFSU Pubic Media. From Riverview, Florida, he has earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Florida State University. During his time at Florida State, he was a reporter within the sports department at WVFS, the student-run on-campus radio station. In 2020, he served as Sports Director during his senior year and hosted the weekly talk show Tomahawk Talk.

Email Brett: brutherford2@fsu.edu