Online oddsmakers have Auburn Coach Bryan Harsin and Georgia Tech Coach Geoff Collins as the odds-on favorite to be the next coaches fired, with Harsin reportedly in danger of being removed as early as this weekend.
The head coach candidate that the Auburn fanbase has asked for the most? Deion Sanders.
Andy Staples, in his “Dear Andy” column for The Athletic, was asked about which Power 5 job would be best for “Coach Prime”, as the Jackson State head Coach is commonly referred to, and a list of possibilities was given: Nebraska, Arizona State, Colorado, Auburn, Georgia Tech, or Kansas.
Staples was adamant that Auburn would be the best fit.
Staples discussed Sanders and the job he’s doing at Jackson State, where he’s shown a commitment to changing the Fate of HBCU football. Whether directly or indirectly, he’s increased the stature and standing of HBCU football. Staples alludes to “the mission” that Sanders seems to be on with HBCU football and expresses some doubts whether or not Sanders would leave for a Power 5 job.
I don’t know if he’d be willing to leave that mission behind for anything less than a job where it’s possible to win national titles. […] Sanders is trying to change the way HBCU football does business. He wants schools to keep more money for neutral-site “classic” games rather than letting middlemen keep most of it. He wants to change how schools distribute Scholarship checks so players aren’t left hanging when their rent is due. There seems to be a higher purpose to what he’s doing at Jackson State
However, if Coach Prime does leave Jackson State, Staples sees Auburn as a place that has the resources to allow Sanders to compete with Alabama’s Nick Saban and Georgia’s Kirby Smart for top recruits, something that Bryan Harsin hasn’t expressed any interest in doing. And, as Staples points out, not recruiting elite players is a death sentence in the SEC: “That is the easiest way to ensure a future in which Auburn never has a chance against Alabama or Georgia.”
Staples explains that Sanders already Flipped Georgia cornerback Travis Hunter, a Consensus 5-star and the nation’s top-rated recruit, from Florida State to Jackson State, so he’s shown he can get elite Talent that the top programs want. That’s due to an inherent quality behind Coach Prime the recruiter that no one else has:
No matter the recruit, Sanders immediately gives the school that employs him an “in”. Either the player already loves Sanders because he understands the history of the game or the player’s parents grew up when Sanders was the most exciting person on a football field. That’s a critical tool when recruiting players against coaches who can show a proven track record of producing NFL draft picks.
Staples closes his argument with this: Who do Saban and Smart least want to see walking into a recruit’s living room?
Auburn officials can’t do this, but the best way to hire a new Coach would be to kidnap Saban and Smart, dose them with truth serum and ask who they’d least want to recruit against. I guarantee Sanders would be on both their lists.
Go read the full piece on The Athletic ($).
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