Shedeur Sanders Hopes to 'Carry on the Family Name' in Football Career as He Signs with Beats

Shedeur Sanders, the son of NFL great Deion Sanders, is the first college athlete to be signed by Beats by Dre as a brand ambassador

Shedeur Sanders
Shedeur Sanders. Photo: Beats by Dre

Shedeur Sanders wasn't not impressed by his famous dad's 14 seasons in the NFL and his World Series turn in 1992, he just didn't see the "magnitude" of the multi-sport athlete's accomplishments.

"He inspired me a lot, but growing up as his son is different," Shedeur tells PEOPLE about his father Deion Sanders, who he now plays for as quarterback at Jackson State University, where the pro sports legend, 54, coaches. "Other people see my father as this great man. He plays sports, doing all this on and off the field. But you got to understand, I grew up with him 24/7 so I'm always around him. So I'm not really understanding the magnitude and the impact that he had on this world."

That's, of course, changed with time and evolved as Shedeur's own career in football has taken off. In fact, Shedeur just became the first college athlete to be signed as a brand ambassador by Beats by Dre, the brand announced on Wednesday.

The pairing, which Shedeur calls "real" and "organic" as he grew up using the company's headphone products, comes after the NCAA decided that student-athletes can now — on an interim basis — earn money from their name, image and likeness.

"People don't understand how much work and how much time you put into the game," says Shedeur. "Stay late at the school just going over film, going over plays, as much time and hard work it is that's put into this and that we're able to be rewarded now, it feels amazing."

It's not hard for Shedeur to stay motivated to keep working hard, as he tells PEOPLE, "you got to carry on the family name."

"You got to make something for yourself and that's my main thing every day at the end of the day," he explains. "I know when I turn 21 I'm on my own, so it doesn't matter what pops did, it matters about me and what I've done in this world and what I did with my lifetime. Because I got the opportunity to do a lot of things."

Deion Sanders and Shedeur Sanders
Deion Sanders and Shedeur Sanders. Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty

Those opportunities have included playing for his dad at the HBCU in Jackson, Mississippi, where Shedeur is in his first year. Deion, Shedeur recounts, was often the coach for his sports teams growing up, which could make things "tough" but "fun," especially as he honed in on football as an eighth-grader.

"Whenever we step on the grass, practice, game, it doesn't even matter, he's a whole different man and I'm a whole different person, too," Shedeur explains of balancing the father-son, and player-coach relationship with Deion. "So after the game whenever we walk off the field, outside of white lines, then it's dad and that. But when we get on the field it's straight coach."

Now, Shedeur is facing down taking his first snap on Sept. 5 when Jackson State plays Florida A&M.

"It's a big adjustment," he admits. "You definitely grow up fast in the role that I am in right now."

And it's helpful to know that Beats believes in him. Says Shedeur, "It's really exciting."

Related Articles