ATLANTA — Jaws dropped as the country's top football recruit let go of his commitment with the Seminoles at Florida State University to play college ball at Jackson State University, an HBCU in Mississippi.
Travis Hunter, a wide receiver and defensive back, is a Florida native, but attends high school at Collins Hill High in Suwanee, Georgia.
The Jackson State recruit took to Instagram to pen an introspective message after his announcement, explaining the magnitude of his decision to let go his "beacon" school and attend an HBCU instead.
"Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a rich history in football. I want to be part of that history, and more, I want to be part of that future," Hunter wrote in the post. "I am making this decision so that I can light the way for others to follow."
Hunter also touched on the significance of his decision in an exclusive interview with 11Alive, stating he's "making a change in history."
"I got a chance to make a change in history. I mean ... me being the first (top) recruit to ever got to an HBCU is really good for me," he said.
Hunter gave a nod to Deion Sanders — a Florida State alum and former National Football League superstar who is now well known for being a sports analyst and the head coach at Jackson State — saying he's looking forward to working with the "iconic" football figure and his "fellow Tigers."
Sanders goes by "Coach Prime," referencing his "Prime Time" nickname that developed during his playing years.
"Along with Coach Prime, they have made me feel like I'm already part of the team. Like I'm home," Hunter said.
Sanders wasted no time expressing his excitement. He also quickly took so social media to share the news, sharing a clip on Instagram of an energetic worship session with churchgoers shouting once the news broke.
"This is how @jacksonstateu and our fans are celebrating after hearing we singed TRAVIS HUNTER the #1 Recruit in the NATION!" Sanders wrote.
Sanders, who was recently named the 'Eddie Robinson Award' winner as 2021 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Coach of the Year, took the position at Jackson State just last year. He's an alumni of Florida State, where Hunter was originally committed to before announcing his pivot.
Hunter told 11Alive he's thankful for the opportunity from Florida State, but he's fired up to get started with Sanders.
"I'm just ready to work," Hunter said. "... ready to get to Jackson State, Mississippi."
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