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Deion Sanders

Born In Fort Myers, Florida

He was born Deion Luwynn Sanders in Fort Myers, Florida, on August 9, 1967. The son of Connie Knight (a cleaning woman), he grew up in a poor neighborhood of the southwest Florida city. Active in sports as a boy, he stayed busy enough to avoid the lure of the ever-present

Deion Sanders

drug trade that ensnared many of his friends. Years later Sanders told Esquire: "It would've been easy for me to sell drugs. But I had practice. My friends who didn't have practice, they went straight to the streets and never left." At the age of eight, he joined a Pop Warner youth league football team. He also joined a local Little League team. While a student at North Fort Myers High School, Sanders played baseball and football, as well as basketball, which was his biggest passion as a teen. A high school friend dubbed Sanders "Prime Time" after he scored 30 points in a basketball game. Sanders earned all-state honors in all three sports.

In his senior year of high school, the multisport star was deluged with offers from colleges but eventually decided to attend Florida State University (FSU) in Florida's capital city of Tallahassee. At college Sanders began to focus more of his energies on football and baseball. Although he had played left-handed option quarterback in high school, he switched in college to defense and special teams. During his years at FSU, Sanders twice was named an All-American in football and scored six touchdowns on punt or interception returns. As a senior he led the country in yardage for punt returns with an average of 15.2 yards. He also won the Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in the country. On the baseball field, Sanders continued to shine, helping to power FSU's drive to the College World Series in 1987, where the team from Tallahassee finished fifth.

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