Deion Sanders, Jackson State land Alabama football walk-on receiver Joshua Lanier

Jerell Rushin
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama football walk-on wide receiver Joshua Lanier has found a new home in coach Deion Sanders' Jackson State program.

Lanier announced his transfer at a news conference at The Lab Tuscaloosa on Wednesday night. He played in seven games with the Crimson Tide as a senior in 2020, primarily contributing on special teams.

Lanier, 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, caught two passes for 10 yards in Alabama's A-Day spring football game.

He considered Utah, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, James Madison and four other programs before picking Sanders' FCS team.

DEPARTURE: Alabama football running back Keilan Robinson enters transfer portal

RECRUITING: What Alabama football's Nick Saban missed during NCAA's 15-month dead period

Alabama walk-on wide receiver Joshua Lanier pulled out a Jackson State hat and announced that he is transferring there at a press conference at The Lab Tuscaloosa.

"I knew it had to be a bigger move than just me," Lanier said. "It had to be more about family, had to be more about God. It had to be more about a program that I could mean something to and that can give a good message to people that look up to me."

Video of Lanier at Alabama football practice created buzz on Twitter in May. Lanier went to Tuscaloosa Academy and began his college career at North Alabama.

Lanier thanked the Alabama football program for developing him and said it was a childhood goal to play for the Crimson Tide before pulling out a Jackson State hat from under the table and putting it on.

"I'm looking for an actual college football experience that I haven't been able to actually get the full experience of because I've always been kind of in the shadows," Lanier said. "So now I'm going to be able to get the full experience and be able to play."

Lanier said conversations with Sanders and the Jackson State staff have been about being ready to work, being a leader and contributing to the team.

Lanier decided to have a news conference because he didn't have a signing day ceremony in high school after not getting any offers. He was surrounded by family and friends at the Tuscaloosa training facility.

"It just gives me a good chance to first (stay) closer to home, which is good for my family," Lanier said, "and it also gives me a way to show younger kids just because you've got other, bigger offers don't mean that you have to go there. You can go to an HBCU. And hopefully once I go there and I can further my career to the NFL they can know that you can still go to an HBCU and go to the NFL."

RECRUITING: Top 2021 football recruit J.T. Tuimoloau to visit Alabama in June, sets official visits

DEPARTURE: Punter Charlie Scott no longer on 2021 Alabama football roster

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