March 25, 2019
Deion Sanders and the Road to the College Football Hall of Fame
A Young Star
One of the most electrifying players to ever play on the football field, Deion Luwynn Sanders, known as “Prime Time”, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Deion was a dynamic athlete from an early age and became an All-State performer in football, basketball, and baseball in high school. Rounding out his early career with multiple honors and accomplishments, he was named to the Florida High School Association All-Century Team in 1985. While he excelled on the gridiron, he also accomplished several feats in baseball and by the end of his high school career, he was drafted in the sixth round of the 1985 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals.
Breaking Records at FSU
When Deion’s collegiate career began at Florida State, he was playing three sports: football, baseball, and track. In his freshman year, he started in the Seminole’s secondary, played outfield for the baseball team, and led the track and field team to a conference championship. Excelling in two different positions on the football field (cornerback and punt returner), he became a two time All-America selection in 1987 and 1988. During the 1988 season, he won the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to college football’s top defensive back, and led the nation in punt return yards. He collected a total of 14 interceptions while returning four for touchdowns, setting a new record at Florida State. Deion’s performance in the 1989 Sugar Bowl against Auburn was one to remember as he completed an interception with five seconds left in the game to defeat the Tigers. He finished his collegiate career with 126 punt returns for an impressive 1,439 yards. Deion’s #2 jersey was officially retired at FSU in 1995.
Successful Pro-Football and Pro-Baseball Careers
His college career behind him, Deion’s sights turned toward going pro. He went as the fifth overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft and was selected by the Atlanta Falcons. “Prime Time” competed in the NFL over 14 years with the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Baltimore Ravens. He is a member of the 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, played in eight Pro Bowls, was named the 1994 AP Defensive Player of the Year, won two Super Bowls and is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.
Deion accomplished this while successfully playing professional baseball for nine seasons with the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, and San Francisco Giants. To this day, he is still the first player in history to play in a Super Bowl and a World Series.
Two MLB Games and One NFL Game in 24 Hours
Recently, Deion starred in an ESPN 30 for 30 film, Deion’s Double Play, which examines a whirlwind 24 hours when he was determined to fit a regular season NFL game in between two post-season baseball games. In October of 1992, he suited up with the Atlanta Braves in Pittsburgh to face off against the Pirates during the National League Championship Series, then flew to Miami to play a game with the Atlanta Falcons, and finally returned to Pittsburgh for another game…that same night!
Deion Sanders at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame
The Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame has partnered with 3D perceptual artist, Michael Murphy, to display his larger-than-life art creation honoring Deion as both an MLB and NFL superstar. Unveiled by ESPN during Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, the piece stands an impressive 9 feet tall and will remain on display at the Hall through spring 2019.