Deion Sanders' first season at Jackson State ends; Prairie View A&M game canceled due to COVID-19

Rashad Milligan
Mississippi Clarion Ledger

The Jackson State football season has ended.

The Tigers' final scheduled game of the spring against Prairie View A&M was canceled Tuesday due to COVID-19 within the JSU program.

One player tested positive and a couple of other players didn't feel well after the positive test came back, according to coach Deion Sanders. Although the Tigers tested already this week, Sanders said the team was going to test again for the players who weren't feeling well.

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"We did not want to come to an abrupt ending like it did," Sanders said. "It happened, and the guys are not happy by any means, coaches as well, but it is what it is. We've got to do what's best for the kids and protect them at all costs."

This was the second time that this game was scheduled after March 28's contest was postponed due to COVID-19 related issues within the Panthers' program.

With the Alcorn State forfeit this past weekend, Jackson State ends the season 4-3 overall and 3-2 in SWAC play. It was Sanders' first season at the helm.

The Tigers began the season 3-0, highlighted by the program's first win against Grambling State since Nov. 3, 2012. An individual performance that stands out in the run was when the team's leading wide receiver, Daylen Baldwin, had six catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns. All three of those touchdowns came in the first half.

The team then went on a three-game losing streak, and gave up an average of 40 points against Alabama State, Southern and Alabama A&M. JSU scored a season-low 14 points in a loss against Southern on April 3. The game against the Jaguars was sophomore quarterback Jalon Jones' last with Jackson State before entering the transfer portal Thursday.

Despite losing 52-43 to Alabama A&M on April 10, freshman quarterback Quincy Casey completed a team season-high 30 passes and 323 yards.

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Going into the fall, the program brings in a host of players and transfers who weren't eligible to play this spring, led by quarterback Shedeur Sanders, the program's highest-rated signee. The fall season is set to kickoff against Florida A&M on Sept. 5 in Miami.

Up next for Sanders and his staff is recruiting, as the NCAA's recruiting dead period is set to reportedly end June 1.

Contact Rashad Milligan at 601-862-6198 or Follow @RashadMilligan on Twitter.