History


Deion Sanders

2010 Inductee

Sanders was a three-time Pro Bowl starter during his Falcons career after being selected as the fifth overall player in the 1989 draft out of Florida State. Considered one of the best pure cornerbacks ever to lace up a pair of cleats, Sanders also doubled as a dangerous return man. He was recently tabbed the 34th best player in the history of the League by a new NFL Films-produced series, The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players.

Sanders' Falcons career started in memorable fashion as he returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown in his first NFL game as a rookie against the Los Angeles Rams at Fulton County Stadium. Sanders' All-Rookie season also included him leading all first-year defensive backs with five interceptions and becoming the first Falcons player to ever appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated (on November 13, 1989).

During his productive Falcons career from 1989-93, "Prime Time" established 12 club records for such marks as: most interceptions for touchdowns (2), longest punt return (79t yards), most punt return touchdowns (2), most KOR yards (3,063), most KOR touchdowns (3), longest kickoff return (100t), most combined return touchdowns (8), and most combined return yards (3,967), among others. The electrifying Sanders scored a total of 10 touchdowns in a Falcons uniform on five returns, three interceptions and two receptions.

Career Highlights
  • Three-time Pro Bowl starter (1991-93).
  • First-team All-Pro (Associated Press, 1992).
  • Scored 10 touchdowns in Falcons uniform (via 3 interceptions, 5 returns, 2 receptions).
  • During his Falcons career established 12 club records: longest punt return (79t yards), most punt return TDs (2), most KORs (133), most KOR yards (3,063), most KOR yards in game (190), most KOR TDs (3), longest kickoff return (100t), most interceptions for TDs (2), most combined return TDs (8), most combined return yards (3,967), most combined return yards in game (245), and most combined returns (228).
  • First player since Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell (1958-61) to return a punt or a kickoff for a touchdown four consecutive seasons.
  • Only pro athlete to play two sports (football & baseball) in same city since 1960-61.
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