Deion Sanders responds to Nick Saban after Alabama coach claims Jackson State paid top recruit $1 million

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Alabama coach Nick Saban set fire to college football’s offseason Wednesday night by outright claiming that Texas A&M “bought” every player on his team through name, image and likeness agreements (NIL ). However, the Aggies weren’t the only ones in Saban’s sights during a nearly 7 minute rant about NIL. Jackson State and coach Deion Sanders also came under fire when Saban said the Tigers paid a recruit seven figures to sign a National Letter of Intent.

“Jackson State paid a kid $1 million last year who was a very good Division I player to come to their school,” Saban said. “He was in the paper, and they were bragging about it. Nobody did anything about it.”

Saban was likely referring to former Florida State commit Travis Hunter Jr. The No. 1 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class shocked the sport in December’s Early Signing Period when he turned down the Seminoles and signed with Jackson State. The dollar amount appears to stem from reports, which have been refuted, that Hunter made $1 million through a NIL deal with Barstool Sports.

Still, the claim didn’t sit well with Sanders, who quickly fired back on Twitter while prompting a longer response on Thursday.

“You better believe I’ll address that LIE coach SABAN said tomorrow,” Sanders wrote on Twitter. “I was woken up by my son @ShedeurSanders who sent me the article saying that we PAID @TravisHunterJr a million to play on @GoJSUTigersFB. We as PEOPLE don’t have to pay our PEOPLE to play with our PEOPLE.”

Saban and Sanders have recently shot commercials together, which could make their next meeting a little awkward, especially since Saban praised Sanders following Hunter’s engagement.

“I have a lot of respect for Deion Sanders,” Saban said at the time. “He’s a good coach. He’s a good guy, he was a great player. He has a great personality and I enjoy doing commercials with him. But it’s not for me to comment on who makes what decisions to go where based on what circumstances.” He has a great player, and I think that’s good for his program. I’m not really going to comment on what happened. I really don’t know the background or the details of what happened there. But everyone has the right to make those choices and those decisions. That’s why it’s America. Everyone has freedom of choice. I’m happy for him because he has a great player.”

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