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Class of 2011: Deion Sanders

  • By NFL.com
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Always in Prime Time

Known as "Prime Time" for his knack for making big plays, Deion Sanders was the preeminent shutdown cornerback in NFL history and also one of the most electrifying punt returners in the game, scoring 22 TDs in his career.

Career Statistics:

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Did you know?
In September of 1989, Deion Sanders hit a home run for the New York Yankees, then scored a touchdown on a punt return in his NFL debut just five days later. That's just one of the nuggets that Gil Brandt offered in his series looking at the newest members of the Class of 2011. More
Through the years
Get a better picture of Deion Sanders' career in this photo gallery.
Three Key Moments
Smashing debut
Sanders, a two-sport star, hit a home run for the Yankees and then left the team. Five days later, he joined the Falcons and returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown against the Raiders in his pro football debut to become the first modern-day player to score a touchdown and hit a home run in the same week.
Shutdown corner
Sanders signed with the 49ers in 1994 with one purpose -- to beat the Cowboys and advance to the Super Bowl. And he did just that. Sanders shut down Cowboys receivers Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper, as he had five passes defensed and a key interception as the 49ers won, 38-28. The 49ers would go on to win Super Bowl XXIX.
Back-to-back
Sanders signed with the Cowboys in 1995 with one purpose -- to get the Cowboys back to the Super Bowl. And again, Sanders delivered. Sanders was a key member of the Cowboys defense and even chipped in with a 47-yard reception as the Cowboys defeated the Steelers, 27-17, in Super Bowl XXX.
Quotable
"You don't get to this level by not performing. A lot of guys play the game, but when you start looking at his performance and what he's been able to accomplish in the period of time that he played, you know he shut down one side of the football field. That says a lot about an athlete and a player." - Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith

"He's the first shutdown corner ever. He introduced the concept." - Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young

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