Getting Travis Hunter cannot be the endgame for Jackson State

The decision of Travis Hunter, the number ranked high school player in these United States, to attend Jackson State was a watershed moment, not only for HBCU football, but potentially for college football as a whole.

Those of us who are student alumni, former athletes of and media that cover HBCU’s have always wanted and strove for ways to make our beloved institutions to a higher level. A highly touted, supremely talent such as young brother Hunter shunning Power 5 schools in favour of an HBCU is precisely what so many of us have wanted for years. ‘However to. In order to make sure that Travis Hunter is the genesis of a paradigm shift, and not just an anamoly on the HBCU athletic timeline, there are some things that must transpire.

Hunter’s excellence on the field is the most important component of this formula

The first and most obvious component is that Hunter must perform on the football field. If he does not the detractors , such as the FSU klanbase, run-of-the mill suspected white supremacists and those racist meat sacks in the media, will have endless fodder for raking Hunter over the proverbial coals. How quickly would they revel in saying things such as ” See, I always knew he wasn’t FSU material.”

The spotlight will be on JSU President Thomas K. Hudson and the entire university staff

As Jackson State will have even more attention cast upon it, they will have to be on point at every level, from the academic side to that of the athletic department. Any hiccup that happens will be magnified and harped upon incessantly. If there is a snafu with admissions or class scheduling, something that happens at universities all across the country, the detractors will use this use this to attack the professionalism and competency of the university, and by extension all HBCUs.

The 2021 SWAC Title Game

Fan support will be a vital component in this equation. HBCU’s , specifically the SWAC and the MEAC ,have paced the field in FCS ( what some of us oldsters refer to as 1-AA) attendance in the past two seasons. While arrendace will not be an issue for Hunter’s new school , Jackson State, who lead the nation in both 2018 and 2019, the fans of other HBCUs will have to show up in numbers for more than Classics and Homecoming ( something we should do be doing anyway). One of the selling points to recruits by Power 5 schools is being able to play in front of big crowds and if HBCUs want to continue to be a player in attracting top-flight talent, sparsley attended games will be a retardant in those efforts.

The aforementioned factors culminate together in forming Travis Hunter’s Jackson State experience. If it is a positive one, then he will do what so many other HBCU alumnus have done, which is to tell everyone in their social circle why they (or their progeny) need to attend their alma mater.Travis Hunter can be an ambassador for not only Jackson State, but by extension all HBCUs. His social circle includes other elite athletes. Invariably they will talk, as Hunter is blazing a trail, the subject of his JSU experience will undoubtedly come up. If he speaks about Jackson State in glowing terms, what he says will resonate in their minds, especially when it’s time for some of those players to pick a school, or should any of those guys or even other elite athletes decide to enter the transfer portal. Landing Travis Hunter was a tremendous moment on which Jackson State must seize upon by cultivating and developing Hunter both on and off the gridiron to ensure they are poised to get the next crop of Travis Hunters.

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