Jackson State's Shedeur Sanders Lands First-Ever College Deal With Gatorade

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Jackson State University football star Shedeur Sanders has become the first college athlete to sign a name, image, and likeness (NIL) deal with Gatorade.

The quarterback is not new to NIL deals, scooping contracts with brands like Beats by Dre, and NFL quarterback Tom Brady's clothing line. But being the first to land a deal with the household name in athletic drinks and to do so at a historically Black university –– it's clear his plan and path are working.

"This whole HBCU thing that's going on right now is bringing national attention," Sanders told The Undefeated. The quarterback is playing under his father, Deion Sanders, who became Jackson State's head coach in 2020. "We got players from Power 5 actually coming to HBCU schools now, it wasn't like that a couple years ago, so it's just really exciting to see that competition will go up.

"Everything's going to go up, and honestly, other players in HBCUs should get deals, too."

Since taking over as head coach of the Tigers, Coach Sanders has landed two top football recruits –– No. 2 Travis Hunter and No. 62 Kevin Coleman. Shedeur's deal, he told the outlet, is "proving what we knew was going to happen in real time."

"You guys are just now seeing it, but we've been discussing it," he added.

Sanders also became the first HBCU player to receive the 2021 Stats Perform Jerry Rice Award –– awarded to outstanding freshman athletes –– further showing potential success at HBCU athletic programs.

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