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Barry Sanders - NFL Legend

Updated on August 23, 2011

Heisman Trophy winner and Hall of Fame member, Barry David Sanders was born in Wichita, Kansas on July 16, 1967. Sanders spent his entire professional football career playing in the NFL for the Detroit Lions. Barry Sanders left the sport just short of setting the all-time rushing record.

Barry did not pay as a running back until his senior year at Wichita North High School in 1985. In the last seven games of the season, Sanders had more than 1,300 rushing yards and was awarded all-state honors. However, Sanders was looked past by college recruiters due to his small stature. Out of the few scholarships that he was offered, Barry Sanders chose to go to Oklahoma State as a top prospect in the college draft.

Sanders played as #21 for the Oklahoma State Cowboys until 1988. Sanders was the leader in the country with an average over 7 yard each carry for more than 200 yards in each game and more than 300 for four games.

He set the season record for college football with 2,628 rushing yards, more than 230 points, almost 40 touchdowns, 3,249 yards total, and five 200-yard games in a row, scoring a minimum of 2 touchdowns for 11 straight games, 9 of which he had a minimum of 3 touchdowns per game.

He also ran for more than 220 yards, scoring 5 touchdowns in the Holiday Bowl, in which he played three quarters. This game was left out of his season stats. That season, Barry Sanders was the winner of the Heisman Trophy and the most outstanding player of the entire season. Nevertheless, Barry left before his senior year at Oklahoma State to take a shot at the NFL Draft.

The Detroit Lions as a first round, third overall pick in the NFL Draft chose Barry Sanders in 1989. In the first year of his professional year, Sanders had a contract dispute that caused him to miss training. Even then, Sanders ran 18 yards on the first carry and on the fourth, made a touchdown.

At the end of the season, he was number two in the NFL for touchdowns and rushing yards. That year, Barry Sanders was named the Rookie of the Year.

Sanders had 1,883 rushing yards in 1994 and an average of 5.7 yards on each carry. Sanders also received for 283 yards, giving him a combination of 2,166 scrimmage yards that season. Also that year, Sanders received the title of the National Football League Player of the Year. The next year Sanders had 1,500 rushing yards and received 398 yards, which beat the rushing total from the 1994 season. He had 1,553 rushing yards in 1996 and only received for 147 yards.

In 1998, Barry Sanders' last season with the NFL, he had 1,491 rushing yards, which put an end to his streak of the previous four years of 1,500 yards in a single season.

Barry Sanders currently resides in the suburbs of Detroit with his wife Laura, a Detroit news anchor, and their four children.

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