Barry Sanders: 1988 Heisman Trophy Winner
After playing behind future Pro Football Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas for two seasons, Sanders
earned his chance to start in 1988 and never looked back!
A record setting All-American before he ran to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
In his final season at Oklahoma State, Sanders not only led the nation in kickoff returns, but averaged an incredible 7.6 yards per carry.
Perhaps the Best Football Season an Individual Ever Had
When Barry Sanders arrived on the Oklahoma State campus as a freshman
for the 1986 season, the Cowboys had just obtained a somewhat hidden
gem. Sanders was lightly recruited because of his short 5-8 frame and
because he did not play running back until the fourth game of his senior
Further setting back Sanders' offensive explosion was the additional fact that
he subbed behind All-American Thurman Thomas in the Cowboys backfield.
However, when Sanders got the starting nod his junior season, it was a
Heisman race for the ages.
Sanders shattered many rushing records that season as he averaged 7.6
yards per carry and over 200 yards rushing per game. He set college
football season record marks with 2,628 rushing yards, 3,248 total yards,
234 points, 39 TD's and enough additional records (34 total) to use up the
remaining ink in a printing cartridge.
Sanders moved on to the NFL following his Heisman winning junior season
and was selected by the Detroit Lions with the 3rd pick of the 1989 NFL
Draft. The tantalizing running back never slowed down and gained NFL
honors such as Offensive Rookie of the Year, (6x) All-Pro honors and the
1997 NFL MVP that he shared with Brett Favre.
With the NFL career rushing mark easily in sight, Sanders abruptly retired following before the 1999 season. Sanders totaled 15,296 rushing yards, 2,921 receiving yards and scored 109 TD's. Sanders was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.