Playing one sport at a professional level is tough enough, but Deion Sanders wasn’t an ordinary athlete. During his playing career, Primetime starred in both the NFL and MLB. The former defensive back also has three sons, all of whom are following his footsteps on the gridiron.
As you’d assume, all three of Deion Sanders’ sons have a pretty solid genetic advantage. Even with that headstart, however, they don’t seem like they’ll be surpassing their father’s legendary status anytime soon.
Deion Sanders’ legendary two-sport career
Looking at guys like Patrick Mahomes or Terrell Owens, it’s not uncommon for NFL players to show talent in other sports. Deion Sanders, however, wasn’t going to let football hold him back.
During his time at Florida State, Sanders actually played three different varsity sports. Depending on the time of year, you could find him on the football field, the baseball diamond, or the track. No matter the arena, though, one truth was apparent: Deion had serious star potential.
After graduation, Sanders didn’t want to choose between football and baseball, so he simply decided to play both sports professionally. While he had a solid career on the diamond, batting .263 with 558 hits and 186 stolen bases over nine part-time seasons, his highest heights came on the gridiron.
In all, Sanders spent 14 seasons in the NFL, with most of that time coming in Dallas and Atlanta. Primetime’s dazzling speed made him a dangerous defensive back and an electric return man; in his 188 total appearances, he intercepted 53 passes, returning nine for touchdowns. He also piled up 5,722 yards and nine touchdowns returning kicks and punts. Sanders won the 1994 Defensive Player of the Year title, claimed two Super Bowl rings, and earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Deion Sanders Jr. was a college football player
Given Deion Sanders’ athletic pedigree, it’s unsurprising that his sons have also taken to the gridiron. Their talent, however, hasn’t matched up to their famous father.
Sanders’ oldest son, Deion Sanders Jr., played his college football at SMU. According to Sports-Reference.com, he lined up as a wide receiver, catching 69 passes for a total of 1,499 yards during three seasons with the Mustangs. Like his dad, Deion Jr. also showed some potential as a return man.
His football career, however, ended after his junior year. It’s not exactly clear what happened, though. While we know that Deion Senior complained about his son’s playing time, SMU’s spokesman told the Dallas Morning News that there was “no particular reason [why] Sanders [was] off the team.”
These days, Sanders Jr. is the man behind the Well Off brand. “I stopped playing football my junior year in college. I didn’t go to ‘the league.’ I had to find another way to ‘ball’ without sports,” the brand’s website explains. “I had to find another way to be creative and express myself. I had to find something else that I loved doing and that I could put my time into”.
Sanders’ two younger sons have potential but don’t seem poised to dethrone their dad
Deion Sanders has two more sons, though, named Shilo and Shedeur.
Shiloh is Deion’s middle son and currently plays football at the University of South Carolina. Like his dad, he plays defensive back but didn’t make much of an impact during his freshman seasons. Sanders appeared in two games for the Gamecocks, making two total tackles and recovering one fumble.
Shedeur Sanders, the youngest of the three boys, plays quarterback and recently made news for working out with Tom Brady. While it’s tough to assess rising high school senior’s pro potential accurately, Sanders does seem to be a decent talent. ESPN currently ranks him as the 40th best player in the class of 2021, giving him a four-star ranking; the quarterback reportedly has offers from plenty of schools, including Alabama, Florida, and Oregon.
Only time will tell if Shilo or Shedeur turn into college stars, let alone NFL players. Until then, Deion Sanders will retain the crown as the best football player in his family.