FLOWERY BRANCH – Deion Sanders, the most entertaining and flamboyant player in team history, will be inducted into the Atlanta Falcons’ Ring of Honor.
Sanders, nicknamed “Prime Time” for his style of play, was with the Falcons from 1989 to 1993 after being drafted No. 5 overall out of Florida State.
The Atlanta Falcons today announced that cornerback Deion Sanders is the latest inductee into the team’s prestigious Ring of Honor. Sanders was named the eighth member of this exclusive club by a vote of a local media selection committee.
The induction will take place at halftime of the nationally-televised Thursday night game between the Falcons and Ravens at the Georgia Dome on November 11.
“When I was dreaming as a kid, I couldn’t often times share those dreams because I thought they were so out of the box. Never would people think that a kid from Ft. Myers, Florida, who was small in stature, but big on confidence, would ever have his name recognized in a stadium in the only place he played in which he called home,” Sanders said. “I want to thank Falcons Owner Arthur Blank and the organization (ironically 21 years later from the year I was drafted) for making my dreams come true.”
Sanders is a first-year eligible candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2011. He is on the preliminary list of 113 modern-era candidates.
During his five seasons with the Falcons he established a new standard for the cover cornerback and was also an electrifying kickoff and punt returner.
He had 24 interceptions over his Atlanta career even though teams elected to stay away from his side of the field. He averaged more than 20 yards each season on kickoff returns and returned three kickoffs and two punts for touchdown.
In 1994, Sanders signed as a free agent with San Francisco. He would go on to also play for Dallas, Washington and Baltimore during the outset of the free agency era. He played 14 seasons in the NFL and won Super Bowl rings with San Francisco and Dallas.
Sanders was selected to eight Pro Bowls, including in 1992 and 1993 as a member of the Falcons.
Tommy Nobis, Steve Bartkowski, William Andrews and Jessie Tuggle were in the first class of Ring of Honor inductees in 2004. Mike Kenn, Claude Humphrey and Jeff Van Note are also members of team’s Ring of Honor. Kenn and Humphrey were the last players to be inducted by the team in 2008.
The Falcons Ring of Honor was established to honor retired players who made significant contributions to the franchise during their
“Deion Sanders is widely regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the 91-year history of the National Football League,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said. “He epitomized excellence on the playing field and was a tremendously gifted athlete who possessed great speed. Deion excelled as a defender, kick returner, punt returner and on offense on his way to establishing 12 club records.”