Born in Wichita, Kansas, he starred as a football player in high school and college before being selected in the first round of the National Football League draft. After finishing second in yards gained on the ground during his first year and being named the rookie-of-the-year, he won the NFL's rushing crown in his second season. More success followed as he became one of the most exciting runners in NFL history. For his exploits on the football field, he earned election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame well before the age of 40.
Gale Sayers? ? How about both?
Sanders' name, when it was added to the alphabetical roster of Hall of Famers, fittingly fell in place directly next to Sayers. On August 8, 2004, Sanders officially joined the ranks of the greatest ever to play pro football – an honor bestowed upon Sayers in 1977. The two runners exemplify the greatest that the Pro Football Hall of Fame represents.
Sanders was the 24th running back elected to the Hall of Fame. Like Sayers before him, the runner captivated fans nationwide with a spectacular running style that often times left opponent tacklers grasping for air.
"I don't know who to compare him to," once commented Hall of Famer Howie Long about Sanders. "I never played against Gale Sayers, but I saw him on film, and Sanders does the same things he used to do. He puts a move on a defender, and you see the guy's knees buckle."