Cornerback Travis Hunter, the No. 2-ranked recruit in the country, flipped his commitment from Florida State to Jackson State on Wednesday to become the first five-star high school football prospect to sign with an FCS team since ESPN started its rankings in 2006.
Jackson State coach Deion Sanders, a Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back, teased before the start of the early signing period that he was going to pull off something historic, and now Sanders has pulled away a five-star defensive back from his alma mater.
Hunter, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound prospect from Collins High School in Suwanee, Georgia, had been committed to Florida State since March 2020.
It’s OFFICIAL #jsu #gotigers 🐅 @jacksonstatefb pic.twitter.com/UTyzMPgVH6
— Travis Hunter (@TravisHunterJr) December 15, 2021
“Florida State has always been a beacon for me,” Hunter said in his Twitter post Wednesday. “I grew up down there, that’s where my roots are, and I never doubted that I would play for the Seminoles.
“It’s a dream that is hard to let go of, but sometimes we are called to step into a bigger future than the one we imagined for ourselves. For me, that future is at Jackson State University.”
At his signing ceremony, Hunter had three baseball caps on the table in front of him as he prepared to make his announcement: Florida State, Auburn and Georgia.
He tossed them off the stage one-by-one and unzipped his sweatshirt to reveal a T-shirt that read Believe. He then caught a Jackson State cap — with a dark blue J on a white background — that was tossed to him from the crowd and put that on.
A longtime member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, Jackson State won its first SWAC title since 2007 last month.
Hunter had taken visits to Georgia during his recruiting process, sparking reports that he might flip to the Bulldogs. Hunter shot those rumors down, saying on social media that he was a Seminole and was not decommitting in October.
Hunter then took a visit to Jackson State in November to see the team defeat Alcorn State.
“Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a rich history in football,” Hunter said in his post. “I want to be part of that history, and more, I want to be part of that future. I am making this decision so that I can light the way for others to follow, make it a little easier for the next player to recognize that HBCUs may be everything you want and more.”
Sanders signed his son, quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who was an ESPN 300 recruit in the 2021 class, along with ESPN 300 prospects Katron Evans, Quaydarius Davis and Trevonte Rucker.
At the time, Shedeur Sanders was the highest-ranked commit Jackson State had signed, but Hunter now takes that spot.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.