Deion sanders Colorado, Net worth, Jr, Coach, Kids & More

American football player and coach (born 1967)

American football player
Deion Sanders

Sanders in 2011
Jackson State Tigers
Position: Head coach
Personal information
Born: (1967-08-09) August 9, 1967 (age 55)
Fort Myers, Florida
Height: 6 ft 1 in (185 m)
Weight: 198 lb (90 kg)
Career information
High school: North Fort Myers
(North Fort Myers, Florida)
College: Florida State (1985–1988)
NFL Draft: 1989 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Career history
As a player:
  • Atlanta Falcons (1989–1993)
  • San Francisco 49ers (1994)
  • Dallas Cowboys (1995–1999)
  • Washington Redskins (2000)
  • Baltimore Ravens (2004–2005)
As a coach:
  • Prime Prep Academy (2012–2013)
    Head coach
  • Triple A Academy (2015–2016)
    Head coach
  • Trinity Christian School (TX) (2017–2020)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Jackson State (2020–present)
    Head coach
Career highlights and awards
As a player
  • 2× Super Bowl champion (XXIX, XXX)
  • NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1994)
  • 6× First-team All-Pro (1992–1994, 1996–1998)
  • 2× Second-team All-Pro (1991, 1999)
  • 8× Pro Bowl (1991–1994, 1996–1999)
  • NFL kickoff return yards leader (1992)
  • NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
  • NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team
  • PFWA All-Rookie Team (1989)
  • Atlanta Falcons Ring of Honor
  • Jim Thorpe Award (1988)
  • 2× Unanimous All-American (1987, 1988)
  • Florida State Seminoles Jersey No 2 honored
As a coach
  • SWAC champion (2021)
  • 2x SWAC East (2021, 2022)
  • SWAC Coach of the Year (2021)
  • Eddie Robinson Award (2021)
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions: 54
Interception yards: 1,331
Receptions: 60
Receiving yards: 784
Total touchdowns: 22
Head coaching record
Career: 23–5 (821) (college)
Player stats at NFLcom · PFR
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

Deion Luwynn Sanders Sr (born August 9, 1967), is an American football coach and former player who is the head football coach at Jackson State Nicknamed “Prime Time“, “Neon Deion” and “Coach Prime“, he played in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Baltimore Ravens Sanders was also a baseball outfielder for nine seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, and San Francisco Giants He won two Super Bowl titles and made one World Series appearance in 1992, making him the only athlete to play in both a Super Bowl and a World Series Sanders is also the only athlete to suit up for two sports in the same day, suiting up for both the Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Falcons

Sanders attended Florida State, where he twice received All-American honors in football and also played baseball and ran track He was selected by the Falcons fifth overall in the 1989 NFL Draft and played football primarily at cornerback, while also making appearances at kick returner, punt returner, and wide receiver During his career, he was named to eight Pro Bowls, received six first-team All-Pros, and made consecutive Super Bowl appearances in Super Bowl XXIX with the 49ers and Super Bowl XXX with the Cowboys, winning both He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011 Sanders graduated from Talladega College in 2020

Following the conclusion of his athletic career, Sanders became an analyst for CBS Sports, NFL Network, and Barstool Sports Sanders also founded the Prime Prep Academy charter school in 2012, where he coached until the school closed in 2015 due to financial insolvency He later served as the offensive coordinator for the football team at Trinity Christian School – Cedar Hill, which his sons attended, from 2017 until 2020 when he was hired by Jackson State Additionally, he starred in the show Deion Family Playbook, which debuted in 2014

Early life

Sanders was born in Fort Myers, Florida to Connie Sanders and Mims Sanders His parents divorced when Sanders was two years old Sanders was raised by his mother and her new husband, Willie Knight, whom Sanders credits with being influential in his life He attended North Fort Myers High School in North Fort Myers, and was a letterman and All-State honoree in football, basketball and baseball In 1985, Sanders was named to the Florida High School Association All-Century Team which selected the top 33 players in the 100-year history of high school football in the state

The Kansas City Royals selected Sanders out of North Fort Myers High School in the sixth round of the 1985 Major League Baseball draft However, he did not sign with the Royals

College career

Sanders at Florida State

Sanders enrolled at Florida State University and played three sports for the Florida State Seminoles: football, baseball, and track Beginning his freshman year, he started in the Seminoles’ secondary, played outfield for the baseball team that finished fifth in the nation, and helped lead the track and field team to a conference championship

Under head coach Bobby Bowden, Sanders was a two-time consensus All-American cornerback in 1987 and 1988, and a third-team All-American in 1986, intercepting 14 passes in his career, including three in bowl games, and managed to return one interception 100 yards for a touchdown breaking Fred Biletnikoff’s interception return record by one yard He won the Jim Thorpe Award in 1988 He was also a standout punt returner for Florida State, leading the nation in 1988 with his punt return average, and breaking the school’s record for career punt return yards Sanders made an interception with 5 seconds left to seal Florida State’s 13–7 win over Auburn in the 1989 Sugar Bowl, during the 1988 postseason Based on those accolades, his No 2 jersey at Florida State was retired, in 1995 He finished his career with 126 punt returns for 1,429 yards and three touchdowns, as well as 14 interceptions, returning them for 287 yards and three scores At the time of his graduation, Sanders’ 14 interceptions was the second highest total in school history Bowden would later state that Sanders was his “measuring stick for athletic ability”

While playing baseball under head coach Mike Martin at Florida State, Sanders batting average was 331 in 1986 He was known more for base stealing, compiling 27 stolen bases in 1987

On May 16, 1987 (while the Metro Conference baseball and track championships were being played simultaneously in Columbia, South Carolina), Sanders played in the conference semifinal baseball game against Southern Mississippi, ran a leg of a 4 × 100 relay, then returned to play in the baseball championship game against Cincinnati Though Sanders’s relay team did not place in that event, the FSU track team was the overall conference champion, and the baseball team won the conference title as well

Professional baseball career

Baseball player
Deion Sanders
Left fielder / Center fielder
Born: (1967-08-09) August 9, 1967 (age 55)
Fort Myers, Florida
Batted: Left
Threw: Left
MLB debut
May 31, 1989, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
June 14, 2001, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
Batting average 263
Home runs 39
Runs batted in 168
Stolen bases 186
  • New York Yankees (1989–1990)
  • Atlanta Braves (1991–1994)
  • Cincinnati Reds (1994–1995)
  • San Francisco Giants (1995)
  • Cincinnati Reds (1997, 2001)

Drafts and minor leagues

Sanders played a nine-year, part-time baseball career, playing left and center field in 641 games with four teams He was originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the sixth round of the 1985 draft, but did not sign with them The New York Yankees selected Sanders in the 30th round of the 1988 Major League Baseball draft, and he signed with the team on June 22 He batted 284 in 28 minor league games after signing

The Yankees invited Sanders to spring training in 1989 Assigned to wear No 71 as a uniform number, Sanders requested a single digit number The Yankees gave him No 30, the lowest number available, which offended many veteran players on the team Sanders opened the 1989 season with the Albany-Colonie Yankees of the Class AA Eastern League Though Sanders planned to leave the Yankees in July to attend NFL training camp, he became embroiled in a contract dispute with the Falcons, and used the Yankees as leverage

New York Yankees (1989–1990)

He received a promotion to the major leagues, and spent the summer with the Columbus Clippers of the Class AAA International League Sanders made his MLB debut on May 31, 1989

During the 1989 season, he hit a major league home run and scored a touchdown in the NFL in the same week, becoming the only player ever to do so Sanders is also the only man to play in both a Super Bowl and a World Series Sanders and Bo Jackson were the preeminent multi-sport athletes of their time, but prior to the 1990 season, they had never squared off against each other in a professional game That changed in 1990, when Jackson and Sanders met five times on the diamond — the most memorable of which came on July 17, in what was billed as “The Bo and Prime Time Show” After Bo Jackson’s three-homer night, Sanders said, “He’s (Bo’s) one of the best athletes who ever put on a uniform”

Sanders made the Yankees’ Opening Day roster for the 1990 season On May 22, 1990, Sanders became involved in a dispute with Chicago White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk Sanders started by stepping up to the plate with one out and a runner on third, drawing a dollar sign in the dirt before the pitch and then failed to run to first base after hitting a routine pop fly to shortstop, trotting back to the dugout instead The Yankee fans booed, and Fisk told Sanders to “run the fucking ball out” and called Sanders a “piece of shit” Later in the game, Sanders told Fisk that “the days of slavery are over” Fisk was furious “He comes up and wants to make it a racial issue, there’s no racial issue involved There is a right way and a wrong way to play this game”

By mid-July, Sanders expressed that he was unsure if he would remain with the Yankees or report to training camp for the upcoming NFL season He requested a $1 million salary for the 1991 season, and the Yankees ended negotiations on a contract extension with Sanders He left the team, finishing the 1990 season with a 158 batting average and three home runs in 57 games In September 1990, the Yankees placed Sanders on waivers with the intention of giving him his release, as Yankees’ general manager Gene Michael said that Sanders’ football career was stunting his baseball development

Atlanta Braves (1991–1994)

Sanders later signed with the Atlanta Braves for the 1991 MLB season On July 31, Sanders hit a key three-run homer to spark a comeback win against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the Braves’ run to the National League West Division title However, he had to leave the Braves the very next day to report to the Atlanta Falcons because of a clause in his NFL contract and missed the postseason Before the 1992 season, Sanders reworked his NFL deal, whereby he still reported to the Falcons for training camp in August, but was allowed to rejoin the Braves for the postseason

Sanders batting for the Braves in 1993

During the 1992 season, his best year in the majors, Sanders hit 304 for the team, stole 26 bases, and led the NL with 14 triples in 97 games In four games of the 1992 World Series, Sanders batted 533 with four runs, eight hits, two doubles, and one RBI while playing with a broken bone in his foot His batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, total bases and win probability added each led the team in the series Despite Sanders’ performance, the Braves ultimately lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in six games In Game 3, he narrowly avoided being a victim of what would have been only the second triple play in World Series history (following Bill Wambsganss’s unassisted triple play in 1920) With Sanders on second base and Terry Pendleton on first, David Justice hit a deep fly ball to center field that Blue Jays center fielder Devon White unexpectedly caught with a leaping effort Pendleton passed Sanders on the bases for the second out, but umpire Bob Davidson called Sanders safe after he scampered back to second base Replays showed that Toronto third baseman Kelly Gruber tagged him on the heel before he returned to second

Cincinnati Reds (1994–1995)

The Braves traded Sanders to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Roberto Kelly on May 30, 1994 The trade was finalized moments before the Braves and Reds were to play against each other In 46 games played, Sanders batted 277 and stole 19 bases The following year, he played in 33 games for the Reds, recording a 240 batting average with 16 stolen bases before being traded to the San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants (1995)

Sanders was sent to the San Francisco Giants in an eight-player trade on July 21, 1995 He batted 280, hit 5 home runs and stole 8 bases in 52 games for the Giants

Cincinnati Reds (1997, 2001)

In 1997, Sanders finished second in the NL with 56 stolen bases in 115 games while with the Cincinnati Reds before leaving baseball for three years

Sanders returned to the Reds in 2001, but was released after playing in only 29 games and batting just 173

Toronto Blue Jays

Following his release from the Reds, he signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays Sanders was hitting 252 for the Syracuse SkyChiefs before the Washington Redskins found a loophole in his contract which compelled him to return to the Redskins Sanders’ football contract had been negotiated to allow for him to play both baseball and football, but the terms of the contract stated that Sanders could miss NFL training camp and the first few games of the season only if he were playing Major League Baseball Since he was not then on an MLB roster, Sanders had to leave Syracuse and return to the Redskins so he would not violate his NFL contract But before arriving at training camp, Sanders informed Redskins personnel he was retiring from professional baseball In his final professional baseball game, Sanders hit a solo home run and an RBI single in Syracuse’s 12–6 win over the Toledo Mud Hens As those in MLB and the NFL urged Sanders to concentrate on only one sport (similar to what they did with Bo Jackson), he would often explain, “football is my wife and baseball is my mistress”

Professional football career

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Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split
5 ft 11+34 in
(182 m)
182 lb
(83 kg)
429 s 153 s 256 s
All values from the 1989 NFL Combine

Draft and Atlanta Falcons

At the 1989 NFL Scouting Combine, Sanders ran a 420 and 429 second 40-yard dash He was the fifth pick overall in the 1989 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, where he played until 1993 Despite fumbling (and recovering) his first NFL punt return (which was re-kicked on a penalty), Sanders ran for a touchdown on his second attempt of his first game During his time in Atlanta, he intercepted 24 passes (including a career-high 7 in 1993), three of which he returned for touchdowns In 1992, he also led the league in kickoff return yards (1,067), yards per return (267) and return touchdowns (2) On October 11, 1992, Sanders played in a Falcons game in Miami and then flew to Pittsburgh, hoping to play in the Braves’ League Championship Series game against the Pirates that evening and become the first athlete to play in two professional leagues in the same day Sanders ultimately did not, however, appear in the baseball game that night Over his five years with the Falcons, Sanders scored ten touchdowns (three defensive, three kick returns, two punt returns, and two receptions) He is the only Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee from his draft’s top five picks to not spend his entire career with the team that selected him

San Francisco 49ers

After five seasons with Atlanta, Sanders signed on to play the 1994 season with the San Francisco 49ers He had arguably his best season as a professional football player, recording six interceptions and returning them for an NFL-best and a then-NFL record 303 yards and three touchdowns Two of his interceptions were returned for a gain of at least 90 yards, making him the first player to do this in NFL history On October 16, 1994, Sanders made his dramatic return to the Georgia Dome in a 49er uniform After getting into a scuffle with his former Falcon teammate Andre Rison, Sanders intercepted a pass from quarterback Jeff George and returned it 93 yards while mockingly staring down the entire Falcons sideline before high-stepping into the end zone Sanders was later voted the 1994 NFL Defensive Player of the Year In Super Bowl XXIX, he recorded an end zone interception in the fourth quarter as the 49ers won over the San Diego Chargers, earning him his first championship ring

Dallas Cowboys

Following his successful season with the 49ers, Sanders, along with his agent Eugene Parker, courted numerous teams in need of a cornerback The several teams in the “Deion Sweepstakes”, as it was called by the media, were the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, who had lost their starting cornerback Kevin Smith to injury for the rest of the season

On September 9, 1995 (which fell in Week 2 of that NFL season), Sanders signed a lucrative contract with the Dallas Cowboys (seven years, $35 million with a $12999 million signing bonus, because owner Jerry Jones was superstitious about the number 13), essentially making him, at the time, the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL Sanders later stated in his book Power, Money & Sex: How Success Almost Ruined My Life that the Oakland Raiders offered him more money than any other team, but he chose to play in Dallas for more time on the offensive side of the ball, a chance to win back-to-back Super Bowls, and because of his friendship with Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin Arthroscopic surgery kept him sidelined until his debut in Week 9, which was once again in Atlanta against the Falcons; the Cowboys won, 28–13 He went on to help the Cowboys win their third title in four years in Super Bowl XXX against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he returned a punt for 11 yards and caught a 47-yard reception on offense, setting up Dallas’ first touchdown of the game and a 27–17 victory Sanders played four more seasons with Dallas, earning Pro Bowl selection in all of them On June 2, 2000, he was released in a salary-cap move

Washington Redskins

Soon after the Cowboys released Sanders, the Washington Redskins signed Sanders to a seven-year, $56 million contract At the end of the 2000 season and an above-average statistical year, Sanders abruptly retired in July 2001 after only playing one year with the Redskins

On December 23, 2002, the Redskins waived Sanders from the reserve/retired list in order to potentially allow him to play for the Oakland Raiders in the 2002–03 NFL playoffs Had he passed through waivers unclaimed, he would have been able to sign a free-agent contract with any team and play during the season However, on December 25, five teams (the Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans), placed waiver bids for him, with the Chargers claiming him by having the highest waiver priority Since it was too late in the season to be activated from the reserve/retired list, he was unable to play for the Chargers for the rest of the season

Baltimore Ravens

Sanders in 2008

In 2004, Sanders announced his intention to come out of retirement after being convinced by his friend Joe Zorovich and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Fuller and linebacker Ray Lewis He signed a one-year deal with the Ravens to be a nickelback Sanders chose to wear the number 37, which matched his age at the time, to preemptively let people know that he was well aware of his relative senior status as an NFL player (additionally, the number 21, used by Sanders throughout his career, was already being worn by Ravens Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister) Against the Buffalo Bills in Week 7 of 2004, Sanders scored his ninth career interception return touchdown, moving him into a tie with Ken Houston and Aeneas Williams, and behind Rod Woodson (with 12), for second place all-time in the statistical category

Sanders remained in Baltimore for 2005, playing in all 16 games The Ravens failed to qualify for the postseason for the second straight year, and he retired for good in January 2006

NFL career statistics

NFL Defensive Player of the Year
Won the Super Bowl
Bold Career high

Defensive/Special team statistics

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles Punt returns Kickoff returns
GP GS Comb Solo Ast Sck PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR Yds TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD
1989 ATL 15 10 39 00 5 52 104 22 0 2 1 0 0 28 307 110 68T 1 35 725 207 72 0
1990 ATL 16 16 50 00 3 153 510 82T 2 0 2 0 0 29 250 86 79T 1 39 851 218 50 0
1991 ATL 15 15 49 10 6 119 198 55T 1 2 1 0 0 21 170 81 23 0 26 576 222 100 1
1992 ATL 13 12 66 00 3 105 350 55 0 2 2 0 0 13 41 32 14 0 40 1,067 267 99 2
1993 ATL 11 10 34 00 7 91 130 41 0 1 0 0 0 2 21 105 16 0 7 169 241 31 0
1994 SF 14 12 36 34 2 00 6 303 505 93T 3 0 1 0 0
1995 DAL 9 9 26 25 1 00 2 34 170 34 0 1 54 540 43 0 1 15 150 15 0
1996 DAL 16 15 33 31 2 00 2 3 15 2 0 1 3 15 1 1 4 40 4 0
1997 DAL 13 12 33 30 3 00 2 81 405 50T 1 33 407 123 83 1 1 18 180 18 0
1998 DAL 11 11 25 22 3 00 5 153 306 71T 1 0 1 0 0 24 375 156 69 2 1 16 160 16 0
1999 DAL 14 14 42 40 2 00 6 3 2 07 2 0 1 0 0 0 30 344 115 76 1 4 87 218 31 0
2000 WAS 16 15 41 38 3 00 9 4 91 228 32 0 1 2 0 0 25 185 74 57 0 1 −1 −10 −1 0
2004 BAL 9 2 8 7 1 00 5 3 87 290 48T 1 5 41 82 23 0
2005 BAL 16 4 30 27 3 00 5 2 57 285 33 0
Career 188 157 512 254 20 10 25 53 1,331 251 93 9 10 13 15 1 212 2,199 104 83 6 155 3,523 227 100 3

Offensive statistics

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
1989 ATL 15 10 1 −8 −80 −8 0 0 0
1990 ATL 16 16 0 0
1991 ATL 15 15 1 17 170 17 0 1 0
1992 ATL 13 12 3 45 150 37 1 1 −4 −40 −4 0 3 2
1993 ATL 11 10 6 106 177 70 1 0 0
1994 SF 14 12 0 0
1995 DAL 9 9 2 25 125 19 0 2 9 45 8 0 0 0
1996 DAL 16 15 36 475 132 41 1 3 2 07 3 1 2 2
1997 DAL 13 12 1 −11 −110 −11 0 1 0
1998 DAL 11 11 7 100 143 55 0 1 0
1999 DAL 14 14 4 24 60 9 0 1 0
2000 WAS 16 15 3 1
2004 BAL 9 2 1 −10 −100 −10 0 0 0
2005 BAL 16 4 1 0 00 0 0 1 0
Career 188 157 60 784 131 70 3 9 −14 −16 8 1 13 5

Coaching career

High school

While continuing his work as an NFL analyst, Sanders became the head coach for the Prime Prep Academy, which he co-founded He stayed as the head coach for 2012 and 2013 In 2015, he was hired as the head coach for Triple A Academy, where he coached for two seasons In 2017, Sanders became the offensive coordinator for Trinity Christian High School, which gave him the opportunity to coach his sons Shilo and Shedeur He stayed there until 2020

Jackson State

On September 21, 2020, Deion Sanders became the 21st head coach of the Jackson State Tigers, a team in the second level of NCAA football, the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), that represents the historically black (HBCU) Jackson State University

In his first season in spring 2021, abbreviated and delayed from its normally intended fall 2020 schedule due to COVID-19 disruptions, he led the Tigers to a 4–3 record, with one win by forfeit In the fall 2021 season, Sanders led the Tigers to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) title and a program record of 11 wins, also being named the recipient of the fall 2021 Eddie Robinson Award as the season’s top FCS head coach

Sanders notably flipped the recruitment of defensive back Travis Hunter who was the number one overall recruit in the 2022 class Hunter initially committed to Sanders’s alma mater Florida State This move was heralded by recruiting director Steve Wiltfong as “the biggest signing day moment in the history of college football” as Football Championship Subdivision schools and the HBCUs that compete at such a level of competition are not typical destinations for high level recruits Hunter was the first five star recruit to sign with an FCS program

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs STATS Coaches
Jackson State Tigers (Southwestern Athletic Conference) (2020–present)
2020 Jackson State 4–3 3–2 T–2nd (East)
2021 Jackson State 11–2 9–0 1st (East) L Celebration 22 19
2022 Jackson State 11–0 7–0 1st (East)
Jackson State: 26–5 19–2
Total: 25–5
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

Legacy and honors

During his 14-year NFL career, Sanders was a perennial All-Pro and one of the strongest pass defenders ever to play the game

Sanders also occasionally lined up with his team’s offense During the 1996 season, Sanders skipped the baseball season, concentrating on football, and attended the first NFL training camp of his career to better familiarize himself with the nuances of the wide receiver position He became only the second two-way starter (after the Cardinals’ Roy Green) in the NFL since Chuck Bednarik

Sanders is the only man to play in both a Super Bowl and a World Series, to hit an MLB home run and score an NFL touchdown in the same week, and to have both a reception and an interception in the Super Bowl He is one of seven players to win back-to-back Super Bowls with different teams He is also one of two players to score an NFL touchdown six different ways (interception return, punt return, kickoff return, receiving, rushing, and fumble recovery)

During his career, Sanders intercepted 53 passes for 1,331 yards (a 251 yards per return average), recovered four fumbles for 15 yards, returned 155 kickoffs for 3,523 yards, gained 2,199 yards on 212 punt returns, and caught 60 passes for 784 yards Sanders amassed 7,838 all-purpose yards and scored 22 touchdowns, nine interception returns, six punt returns, three kickoff returns, three receiving, and one fumble recovery His 19 defensive and return touchdowns was an NFL record (now held by Devin Hester with 20 return touchdowns) In the postseason, Sanders added 5 more interceptions, as well as 3 receptions for 95 yards, 4 carries for 39 yards, and two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving) He was selected to eight Pro Bowls and won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1994

  • College Football News named Sanders No 8 in its list of 100 Greatest College Football Players of All-Time
  • The Sporting News named Sanders No 37 in their Top 100 Football Players of the Century released in 1999
  • ESPN named Sanders No 74 in its list of the 100 Great Athletes of the Century released in 1999
  • NFLcom named Sanders No 34 on NFL’s Top 100 list released in late 2010
  • NFL Network named “Deion Sanders and anyone” in their Top 10 greatest cornerback tandems in NFL history: “Deion Sanders started opposite 13 other cornerbacks, and no matter who started on the other side the defense was better with No 21 baiting QBs”
  • On November 11, 2010, Sanders was inducted into the Atlanta Falcons’ Ring of Honor
  • On May 17, 2011, Sanders was announced as a College Football Hall of Fame inductee
  • On August 6, 2011, Sanders was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility

On February 6, 2011, at Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, Texas, Sanders performed the pre-game coin toss

Sanders did not attend classes or take final exams during the fall semester of his senior year at Florida State, yet played in the Sugar Bowl against Auburn This caused the Florida State Legislature to create the ‘Deion Sanders rule’, whereby a football athlete at any state university could not play in a bowl game if he failed to successfully complete the previous semester

In 1995, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys for a minimum yearly base salary and a nearly $13 million signing bonus in an attempt to circumvent the NFL’s salary cap This caused the NFL to institute its own ‘Deion Sanders rule’ whereby a prorated portion of a player’s signing bonus counted against the salary cap

Media appearances and pop culture fame

Sanders became known for sporting a “do-rag” or bandana and for his high-stepping into the end zone followed by his touchdown dance celebrations At the end of his Hall of Fame speech, he put a bandana on his bust

His “Prime Time” nickname was given to him by a friend and high-school teammate, Florida Gators defensive back Richard Fain The two played pickup basketball games together during the prime time television hour, and Sanders’ athletic display during those games earned him the nickname His other nicknames are “Lil Nicky” (for comparing himself with NCAA coaching great Nick Saban) and “Neon Deion”

Sanders, known for his custom-made showy suits and flashy jewelry, frequently capitalized on his image On December 26, 1994, Sanders released Prime Time, a rap album on MC Hammer’s Bust It Records that featured the singles “Must Be the Money” and “Prime Time Keeps on Tickin'” The album and singles didn’t chart in the Top 40 Following his first Super Bowl victory with the San Francisco 49ers, Sanders hosted Saturday Night Live, broadcast on February 18, 1995 Sanders performed a medley of songs from Prime Time, including “Must Be the Money” and “Heidi Heidi Hey”

As Hammer’s friend, Sanders appeared in the “2 Legit 2 Quit” music video, and his alter-ego “Prime Time” showed up in Hammer’s “Pumps and a Bump” music video Hammer being a big sports fan, launched a new enterprise during his career called Roll Wit It Entertainment & Sports Management which boasted such clients as Evander Holyfield, Deion Sanders and Reggie Brooks In 1995, Hammer released “Straight to My Feet” with Sanders, from the Street Fighter soundtrack (released in December 1994) The song charted No 57 in the UK

In January 1995, Sanders became the official spokesman of the Sega Sports line of video games Sanders has also appeared in television commercials for such companies as Nike, Pepsi, Burger King, Pizza Hut and American Express These included a Road Runner Pepsi ad, with Sanders as the Road Runner with Wile E Coyote targeting him, and a Pizza Hut commercial in which he appeared with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones He also makes a cameo as himself in the film Celtic Pride

After retiring from the NFL in 2004, Sanders worked as a pre-game commentator for CBS’ The NFL Today until 2004, when contract negotiations failed Sanders turned down a 30% salary increase demanding to be paid $25 million, the highest of any NFL TV analyst He was replaced by Shannon Sharpe During Sanders’ run, he participated in several sketches The first was “Primetime and 21st”, a mock street corner where Sanders (not yet a regular panelist) would give his opinions Another was his “Sanders Claus” persona, one of numerous sketches that involved young kids in football jerseys, representing NFL players, receiving a sarcastic gift from Sanders Deion actually debuted as “Sanders Claus” in a set of Nike commercials Sanders still takes presents at Christmas time to local children’s hospitals in his area dressed as “Sanders Claus”

Sanders as an NFL Network analyst in 2008

Sanders frequently made guest appearances on ESPN, especially on the ESPN Radio Dallas affiliate, and briefly hosted a show called The New American Sportsman He also hosted the 2002 Miss USA pageant

Sanders also was co-host of the 2004 GMA Dove Awards broadcast, taped in late April 2004, and slated for air on UPN in May 2004 When negotiations with fellow Viacom property CBS failed (see above) two weeks before the broadcast, and he signed a deal with ESPN, UPN promptly canceled the broadcast, and the show aired on the i Network in December 2004 (both UPN and CBS are now owned by CBS Corporation)

Sanders works at NFL Network as an analyst on a number of the network’s shows Prior to the Sunday night game, Sanders, alongside host Rich Eisen and Steve Mariucci, breaks down all the action from the afternoon games on NFL GameDay At the conclusion of all the action on Sunday, Sanders, Mariucci, Michael Irvin and host Fran Charles recap the day’s action with highlights, analysis and postgame interviews For the 2010 season, Sanders joined Eisen, Mariucci and Marshall Faulk on the road for Thursday Night Kickoff presented by Lexus, NFL Network’s two-hour pregame show leading into Thursday Night Football The group broadcasts live from the stadium two hours prior to all eight live Thursday Night Football games and returns for the Sprint halftime show and Kay Jewelers postgame show Sanders also has a segment called “Let’s Go Primetime” on NFL Network

In 2008, Sanders and his wife starred in the reality show Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love, centering on them and their five children living in the small town of Prosper, Texas That same year, he appeared with his family on Celebrity Family Feud in the July 22, 2008 episode, competing against Bruce and Kris Jenner, Kim, Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian

Sanders appeared as himself in the fourth season of The League, playing a prospective buyer of Andre’s apartment

In 2014, Sanders was featured in an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls, where he and Grylls hiked in the desert of southern Utah for two days, rappelling down canyon walls and later climbing up a mesa

Sanders served as an alumni captain for Team Sanders in the 2014 Pro Bowl He also re-joined CBS Sports as a studio analyst for Thursday games only He still works for the NFL Network on Sundays

In 2015, he competed against singer Justin Bieber in an episode of Spike’s Lip Sync Battle and won with performances of “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry and “Like a Virgin” by Madonna

Sanders and his girlfriend Tracey Edmonds were featured together on an episode of Tiny House Nation that first aired on January 21, 2017

In 2018, Sanders appeared in disguise on Undercover Boss to meet youth coaches and the less fortunate, which aired on CBS

Leon Sandcastle

Leon Sandcastle is a fictional character, depicted as a disguise for Sanders The Sandcastle character was created for an NFL Network commercial Sandcastle first appeared in a Super Bowl commercial in 2013 The commercial depicted Sanders suggesting he could still play at a level higher than the rookies in the 2013 NFL Draft and deciding to make a comeback He dons an afro, assumes the impromptu alias “Leon Sandcastle” and enters the draft, going through the full NFL Scouting Combine For action shots, Ball State cornerback Andre Dawson served as the stunt double The commercial features Sandcastle being drafted 1st overall in the draft by the Kansas City Chiefs A voiceover then instructs viewers to watch NFL Network for offseason and draft coverage, noting in deadpan at the end that “the next rookie sensation probably won’t be Leon Sandcastle”

Despite not being an actual prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft, several combine videos have been created The most prominent of these videos is Sandcastle’s “42 40 yard dash” The NFL also created a “Combine Profile” for Sandcastle, as they do with actual prospects In Rich Eisen’s 2013 annual ‘Run Rich Run’ event, Sandcastle appeared giving tips to Eisen Sandcastle’s combine profile reveals that Sandcastle attended Primetime University The commercial had a positive social media response as “Leon Sandcastle” was trending on Twitter worldwide, shortly after the commercial’s airing Sandcastle was also put into Madden NFL 13 as a card in the ‘Ultimate Team’ game mode For April Fools’ Day, 2013, NFLcom reported that Sandcastle would be the Chiefs’ first overall selection

The character developed marketing value and continued to appear in headlines, such as a fake endorsement deal with Under Armour and continued to make other appearance at NFL events Sandcastle also had football trading cards produced and inserted into products by Topps and Panini America

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 1 in
(185 m)
195 lb
(88 kg)
36 in
(091 m)
9+12 in
(024 m)
417 s 159 s 243 s DNP s 639 s 47 in
(119 m)
116 ft 34 in
(355 m)
19 reps
Splits from NFL Combine video, all other statistics provided by NFLcom

Other business and entertainment ventures

In addition to his sports career, Sanders also had a career in music as a rapper He released his debut album in 1994, Prime Time, through Hammer’s Bust It Records label via Capitol Records In 1995, Hammer released “Straight to My Feet” with Sanders, from the Street Fighter soundtrack (released in December 1994) The song charted No 57 in the UK

Sanders moved on to other ventures after his retirement In 2003, Sanders took interest in Devin Hester, a return specialist from Miami Sanders mentored Hester, counseling and advising him during various points of his collegiate career The Chicago Bears drafted Hester in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft Since then, Hester has broken the record for the most total returns for touchdowns in NFL history with 15 punt returns and 5 kick off returns Hester has cited Sanders as one of his major inspirations and idols, and thanked him for his training and advice Hester, also known as “Anytime”, occasionally performs Sanders’ signature touchdown dance and high-steps in homage to his mentor

Sanders also tried to adopt a high school running back, Noel Devine, who was one of the top recruits in 2007 Sanders was advised against this, but responded, “He doesn’t have parents; they died God put this young man in my heart This is not about sports This is about a kid’s life” He now mentors Devine, and was a factor in Devine’s extended wait to sign a letter-of-intent to West Virginia University Devine eventually signed to play football for the Mountaineers Sanders has also been a mentor to Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Michael Crabtree, as well as former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, Dez Bryant

In January 2004, Sanders was hired as an assistant coach to the Dallas Fury, a women’s professional basketball team in the National Women’s Basketball League, even though Sanders had never played organized basketball either in college or the professional level

On September 2, 2005, in response to the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina, Sanders challenged all professional athletes in the four major sports to donate $1,000 each to relief efforts, hoping to raise between $15 and $3 million total Sanders said “Through unity, we can touch thousandsI have friends and relatives that feel this pain Help in any way you can” In April 2006, Sanders became an owner of the Austin Wranglers, an Arena Football League team

Sanders has occasionally served as a celebrity spokesperson, such as representing Monitronics, a security system firm, at an industry conference in the spring of 2010

In 2012, he co-founded Prime Prep Academy, a grouping of charter schools in Texas The school was plagued by ethical, legal, and financial issues, and closed on January 30, 2015, due to financial insolvency


Year Album Chart Positions
US Hip-Hop US Heatseekers
1994 Prime Time 70 14
2005 The Encore Remix
“—” denotes the album failed to chart or not released

Personal life

Sanders has been married twice: to Carolyn Chambers (1989–1998), with whom he has two children; and Pilar Biggers-Sanders (1999–2013), with whom he has three children

Sanders, along with JM Black, published his autobiography, Power, Money & Sex: How Success Almost Ruined My Life World Publishing 1998 The book was inspired after he began counseling with Bishop TD Jakes He notes his agent Eugene E Parker as another person who influenced his life

Sanders has made an effort to coach at several different stops His first coaching position, in 2012, was with the charter school Prime Prep Academy, which he helped found Sanders was later fired as the coach after a school staffer alleged Sanders assaulted the staffer Sanders denied the claim In 2015, Sanders was named the CEO of FOCUS Academies and granted the head coaching position at the Triple A academy, where Sanders led them to face his alma mater North Fort Myers High School in Florida, a game featuring a key matchup between several ranked recruits On August 17, 2017, it was announced by CBS Sports that Sanders would be switching coaching positions at a new high school to become the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill high school in Cedar Hill, Texas The move was significant for Sanders, as both his sons played at the high school Sanders served on the staff as offensive coordinator under former Dallas Cowboy Aveion Cason

Sanders’ son Shilo played defensive back for South Carolina for two seasons before transferring to Jackson State University in December 2020 A younger son, Shedeur, is a quarterback who was verbally committed to Florida Atlantic, but flipped his commitment to Jackson State He enrolled at Jackson State in January 2021, redshirting the rescheduled spring 2021 season before winning the starting job that summer After leading his father’s team to its first SWAC title since 2007 in the fall 2021 season, Shedeur was named that season’s recipient of the Jerry Rice Award as the top FCS freshman

In 2020, Sanders graduated from Talladega College with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on organizational management

In 2021, Sanders underwent several foot surgeries and had two toes on his left foot amputated as a result of blood clots

See also

  • Biography portal
  • Baseball portal
  • List of Major League Baseball annual triples leaders
  • List of athletes who came out of retirement
  • List of athletes who played in Major League Baseball and the National Football League


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