Everything You Need To Know About Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders is one of the best early-round picks in NFL history. Here's Everything You Need To Know About Former Lions RB Barry Sanders.

Former Lions running back Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders Bio

Sanders was born in Wichita, Kansas. He was the seventh child in a family of 11 children. His father worked as a roofer and carpenter and his mother was a homemaker. On hot Kansas days, Barry helped his father build and fix roofs, which fostered a work ethic that came in handy in his football career.

Barry Sanders College Career

At Oklahoma State University, Sanders was an understudy to strong-side linebacker Thurman Thomas for two seasons. The first time Sanders showed himself on returns on special teams, and when Thomas left for the NFL, sparkled for real - in the college season-1988 Barry set 34 NCAA records, won the Heisman Trophy and a bag of other individual awards.

Barry Sanders NFL Career

The Detroit Lions selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 1989 draft. Throughout his 10-year pro career, Sanders gained an average of 1,527 rushing yards per season. His worst total was 1,115 yards. In the 1997 season, the Lions' running back racked up 2,053 rushing yards (+ another 305 on receptions) and won the season MVP award.

Alas, the team was far from Super Bowl contention. Sanders played 6 playoff games, but won only one of them. Desperate to win the championship ring, Barry ended his career at age 31, although everyone was sure he would have the strength and health to have several more individually strong seasons.

In every year of his career, Sanders was selected to the All-Star Game and made the all-star team (6 times first team), and was the season leader in takeaways yards 4 times. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.

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