Note: Don't miss "Deion Sanders: Canton Goes Primetime," which premieres Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET on NFL Network.
I have many, many fond memories of Deion Sanders through the years. Perhaps the most memorable came in February of 1989 at the NFL combine. Sanders, who will be enshrined Saturday in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, told people at the combine that he would not run the 40-yard dash while he was there. I had enjoyed a good relationship with Sanders dating back to time I spent visiting him at Florida State, so I was asked to speak to him about running. Eventually, he obliged my request to run. And run he did -- Sanders ran just once, blowing away the on-lookers with a 4.27 40 and then continuing right on into the locker room.
Here are 10 more things you might not know about the man they call "Prime Time:"
» Sanders, a high school quarterback, only took three recruiting visits. He passed on Georgia because then-coach Vince Dooley said he'd be redshirted, and he was unimpressed with Florida. Mickey Andrews, who was Florida State's defensive coordinator when he recruited Sanders to FSU, will tell you that the key to Sanders' decision to play for the Seminoles was when he introduced Sanders to Miss Betty, a woman who worked in the FSU cafeteria. Miss Betty fell in love with Sanders (which is easy to do because he's such a charmer) and promised to take care of him as if he was her own son. And that sealed the deal.
» Even though Sanders was always the most gifted athlete on the field, he also was the hardest-working player on the field.
» In the spring of 1987, still a true freshman, Sanders won both the 100- and 200-meter dash races at a track and field meet, despite having almost no time to prepare for the competition. That night, he started in the outfield for Florida State's baseball team.
» Sanders learned the art of networking early in his career. During his final year at FSU, I received weekly notes from his Hayden Road address keeping me apprised of what he did on the field the previous weekend.
» Sanders' great flair and showmanship most likely was inherited from his father, who was a drum major at his high school in Fort Myers, Fla. It has been said Sanders' dad could whip up a crowd like nothing you've ever seen.
» When Sanders signed his rookie deal with the Falcons, he bought 80 acres of land and made sure there was a long driveway leading up to the house he had built there. He did the same thing at his current home in Prosper, Texas. The idea for the long driveway stems from the house of a childhood friend with whom he played football.
» You probably already know this, but it's so impressive we've got to repeat it: In September of 1989, Sanders hit a home run for the New York Yankees and then scored a touchdown on a punt return for the Falcons -- in his NFL debut -- just five days later.
» Very active with youth football teams, Sanders is bringing a group of kids with him to Canton to play in a local tournament during his stay.
» Sanders had a rushing TD in a 1996 playoff game vs. Philadelphia, making him one of two players in NFL history to score a touchdown six different ways (interception return, punt return, kickoff return, receiving, rushing and fumble recovery). The other is fellow Hall of Famer Bill Dudley.