NCAA FB

CFN: 100 Best - No. 8 Deion Sanders

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Some were amazing players, some revolutionized their positions, some were legends, and some we just think were truly great. Yes, there was a bias towards players who played in the bigger conferences and against the biggest teams, but we also give a nod to the best who weren't in the spotlight as well. You can consider this the list of the college football careers as we give high marks to the legends.

How do you possibly pick an offensive lineman over a quarterback? It's tough, but our friends at the CollegeFootballNews.com we tried to make the call in regards to how good of a player they were without necessarily giving more credit to one position over another. Think of it this way, if you could take one running back, who would you take? You couldn't go wrong with Walker, Dorsett, Williams, Simpson, Dayne or about 20 other backs. Now if you had to pick one center, who would you go with? There are very few who stand out.

No. 8: Deion Sanders, CB - 1985-1988

Deion Sanders was an obnoxious, self-promoting egomaniacal prima donna who rarely tackled anyone with any consistency. He elevated the art of trash talk to a nuclear level firing on anyone within ear shot and always bragging about how great he was. Deion Sanders was also the greatest corner to ever play college football. has been a who's who of sensational athletes over the years and no one has been better than Sanders with an amazing combination of speed, quickness and jumping ability. At just over 6-1 and 195 pounds, he ran a 4.3 40-yard-dash on a slow day and was the prototype corner. The college playmaker: As part of one of the great secondaries in college football history including such future NFL notables as Leroy Butler and Martin Mayhew, Sanders picked off 14 passes including three in bowl games. Mere stats don't come close to showing what kind of player he was as he simply shut down any of the receivers he covered handling some of the nation's best. He won the Jim Thorpe Award in 1988 as the nation's best defensive back. As good a college corner as Sanders was, he may have been just as good as a punt returner leading the nation in 1988 with a 15.2 yard per return average holding the FSU record with 1,429 career punt return yards and 503 in 1988. His signature return was against in the classic 1988 game taking a kick 76 yards for a touchdown. Sanders was also an amazing track athlete. In one day, Sanders played the first game of a baseball tournament, ran a leg of the 4x100 relay in baseball pants, then played another baseball game. The baseball player: Other than Jim Thorpe and with all due respect to Bo Jackson, no athlete on our list accomplished more in more than one sport than Sanders as a Hall of Fame caliber football player and a top-notch part-time baseball player. Out of high school Sanders was drafted by the City Royals, then in college was taken by the Yankees playing with three farm teams. At FSU, he hit .331 in 1986 but was known more for his unstoppable base stealing ability and range in the outfield. In his on-again off-again baseball career, Sanders hit .263 with 39 home runs, 168 RBIs and 186 stolen bases in his nine-year, 641 game career with the Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Reds and San Francisco Giants. In 1992, Sanders hit .302 with the Braves and stole 52 bases in 97 games. In 1989, he hit a home run and scored an NFL touchdown in the same week and remains the only player to play in a Super Bowl and a World Series. The pro career: Taken with the 5th pick in the 1989 draft by the Atlanta Falcons, Sanders had a seven time Pro Bowl career and finished as possibly the greatest cover corner in NFL history. The negatives: Sanders rarely got in on tackles and his cover technique wasn't badly flawed. The positives: Sanders made up for any problems with his speed and athleticism. In his 12 year career with Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas and , Sanders was such a weapon when teams dared to challenge him by throwing his way or kicking the ball to him that he picked off 48 passes for 1,187 yards and scored 22 touchdowns on eight interceptions, six punt returns, three catches, three kickoff returns, one run and one fumble recovery. It got to a point that offensive coordinators simply stopped throwing his way. Sanders was a part of two Super Bowl winners winning one with the Dallas Cowboys and one with the San Francisco 49ers. He remains the only player to catch a pass and make an interception in the Super Bowl. Prime Time: Few were able to market an image or raise the bar for salaries at a position like Sanders did. With his fashion, cockiness, and ability to give the media exactly what it wanted made Prime Time a superstar and a household name. Post NFL: Sanders has become an pre-game personality on CBS' NFL Today and hosted the 2002 Miss America pageant. Honors: Jim Thorpe Award - 1988, First Team All-America - 1987 & 1988, Third Team All-America - 1986, State No. 2 jersey retired - 1995, NFL All-Pro - 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, NFL Defensive Player of the Year - 1994.

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