Travis Hunter flips from Florida State to Deion Sanders’ Jackson State

The nation’s top recruit had been committed to the Seminoles since March 2020 but instead pulled off the biggest shocker of the modern recruiting era.
Florida State lost Travis Hunter, the nation's top recruit, to Jackson State on Wednesday.
Florida State lost Travis Hunter, the nation's top recruit, to Jackson State on Wednesday. [ Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Dec. 15, 2021|Updated Dec. 15, 2021

Florida State lost out on the nation’s top recruit when former Seminoles commit Travis Hunter flipped to Deion Sanders and Jackson State in one of the biggest national signing day shockers of the modern recruiting era.

Hunter, the No. 1 player in the 247Sports composite rankings, announced his switch in a ceremony Wednesday. His addition to Jackson State’s class has not yet been officially announced.

Related: National signing day: Live updates on Florida Gators, FSU and USF

“It’s not hyperbolic to say this is the biggest flip in Rivals history,” Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney said in a video on Twitter.

Hunter is a five-star cornerback from Georgia who committed to FSU in March 2020, a few months into the Mike Norvell era. He is the unquestioned alpha of a recruiting class that entered Wednesday’s national signing day on the cusp of the top 10.

He announced his flip in a ceremony Wednesday. He threw aside Auburn, Georgia and FSU caps before his mother tossed him one for Jackson State. Hunter then unzipped his sweatshirt to show a Jackson State shirt with one message: I Believe.

The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Hunter is an elite athlete who could see time on offense or defense. He was also a saving grace for FSU during the 5-7 season — a sign of hope for the future despite current struggles. He was the centerpiece of the class; he helped come up with FSU’s “Platinum Squad” theme for the signing class.

Hunter grew up as a Seminoles fan and said in a Twitter post that playing for FSU is “a dream that is hard to let go of,” but he instead chose to play for the Seminoles legend at the historically Black school in Mississippi.

“I want to be part of that (HBCU) history, and more, I want to be part of that future,” Hunter wrote. “I am making this decision so that I can light the way for others to follow, make it a little easier for the next player to recognize that HBCU’s may be everything you want and more...”

It’s the second time FSU has lost to an FCS school after falling to Jacksonville State in a last-minute collapse in September. This one, however, will sting even longer, if Hunter becomes the superstar that recruiting gurus expect him to be.

As of Wednesday at 11:45 a.m., FSU had the nation’s No. 12 class, but that was before Hunter’s stunning announcement.

Hunter is the highest-rated cornerback of the modern era and would have been FSU’s biggest recruit since Ernie Sims in 2003.

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