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Florida State coaching search: NFL insiders name Deion Sanders as a candidate

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported the development Thursday night.
Former Florida State football player Deion Sanders, left, joins Head Coach Willie Taggart prior to the start of the spring game action Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee in 2018. [COLIN HACKLEY | COLIN HACKLEY]
Published Nov. 8
Updated Nov. 8

Is it about to be Prime Time at Florida State University?

According to NFL insiders, Deion “Prime Time” Sanders, one of FSU’s (and the NFL’s, for that matter) all-time greatest players, is in the running to replace ousted Seminoles coach Willie Taggart and lead FSU’s football program. Ian Rapoport, a national insider for the NFL Network, broke the news in a tweet late Thursday.

RELATED STORY: Florida State football fires Willie Taggart

“NFL Network analyst and Hall of Famer Deion Sanders has emerged as a candidate for the Florida St. head coaching job, sources tell me and @MikeGarafolo,” Rapoport tweeted. “A fascinating situation that could unfold.”

The move would be both surprising and not. Sanders has no significant coaching experience. He’s neither coached for an NFL team nor a college program. He is, however, widely considered one of the greatest athletes of all time. His storied career has earned him spots in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame, where the cornerback was one of FSU’s most celebrated players and a two-time All-American.

Sanders, a Fort Myers native, spent 14 seasons in the NFL, winning Super Bowls with both the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. He also made eight Pro Bowl appearances. Outside of football, he played nine seasons in professional baseball, including one World Series appearance with the Atlanta Braves in 1992. He’s the only player in professional sports history to have played in both the Super Bowl and World Series.

Outside of professional sports, Sanders was a founder and coach at Prime Prep, a Texas charter school that abruptly closed after only a few years in operation because of financial issues and some questionable practices. Most recently he’s been an analyst for the NFL Network.

And while Twitter has been trending with news of the possible move, it doesn’t seem likely at this juncture.

Tampa Bay Times college football reporter Matt Baker said the news seems skeptical at best, while some Twitter users asked Rapoport if his account had been hacked.

Still, many users responding to the news seem hopeful. Some said they should sign him to a 10-year deal and go for it, thinking he deserves a shot after years of coaching high school-aged children. Some even predict success. Even Luther Campbell from 2 Live Crew threw in for Sanders.

@DeionSanders Head Coach at @FSUFootball he will win a National Championship in two years,” Campbell wrote. “Only Nick Saban can compete with him in recruit. I’m pulling for you Brother.”


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