A rivalry won’t impede HBCU solidarity between Jackson State University and Mississippi Valley State University thanks to JSU coach Deion Sanders. Get the full story from Khari Thompson at the Mississippi Clarion Ledger below.

Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders walks out on the field for JSU’s spring game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Miss., Sunday, April 24, 2022. (Credit: Barbara Gauntt/Clarion Ledger)

Jackson State coach Deion Sanders took a surprise visit to rival Mississippi Valley State, where he met with the coaching staff and toured the football facilities, he said in a video posted to his Instagram page. 

While he described the campus as beautiful, Sanders was not impressed by the Delta Devils’ practice field.

“I’m like, is the Children of the Corn, or the practice field?” Sanders said. “Hold on, go back to that. You’ve got to be kidding me. Stop, stop, stop the darn tape. You mean to tell me this is the practice field? Alright, we’ve got to do something about that.” 

So, Sanders called on supporters to help him build new field for MVSU. He undertook a similar project at Jackson State where JSU installed a new turf practice field outside of the Walter Payton Center.

“After I’ve seen all that, it’s time for me to go to work,” Sanders said. “It’s my objective to help Coach (Vincent) Dancy and his staff and those wonderful athletes there. We’ve got to build them a game field. It’s not going to be turf, it’s going to be a grass field. But I need you to help me maintain it, keep it beautiful and green so they excel.”

Sanders said he’s looking to start working on the field as soon as possible.

After leaving the field, Sanders had lunch with Dancy who is a Jackson State alum, and Mississippi Valley State running back Caleb Johnson who is on his Prime Prospects list of 16 HBCU players Sanders thinks should be selected in the NFL Draft. 

“Caleb Jonhson is a flat out dog, I’m telling you, he’s going to be a pro one day,” said Sanders.

Sanders was unable to make the trip to Itta Bena last season when the Delta Devlis hosted Jackson State. It was one of three games he missed following having two toes amputated due to blood clots that were causing circulation issues in his leg. Jackson State won 28-19. 

“See, I was injured, I was in the hospital, I wasn’t able to make it to this game,” Sanders said. “But it was a tough game, and it was a great game. And he (Dancy) talked to me about some of the trials and tribulations they have at Mississippi Valley State amongst others.”