‘Prime Time’ Deion Sanders on being recruited by UGA and Vince Dooley

WE’VE MOVED!!! Visit the AJC’s NEW Recruiting page by clicking here or going to ajc.com/sports/recruiting

*

Who was the better college DB?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Can you imagine NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders playing for UGA?

It almost happened, as Sanders took three official visits — UGA, Florida and eventual winner FSU.

Before Sanders was “Prime Time” or “Neon Deion” or played for the Atlanta Falcons or Atlanta Braves, he was a speedy football recruit out of Fort Myers, Fla.

Sanders talked to the new-press.com this week about his recruiting trip to UGA:

“I went to the University of Georgia,” Sanders said. “On my recruiting trip, Vince Dooley is the head coach. I had just witnessed them getting their butts kicked against Georgia Tech.

“They got their butts kicked, and I went to Vince Dooley’s office. And he says, ‘Well, I’m sure you’re going to contribute for us. I want you to redshirt and learn the system.’ And I said, ‘Redshirt?’

“And that was it. He’s talking about redshirting, and I know what I’ve got. So that was it. I crossed him off the list.”

Sanders claimed to the website that he eliminated Florida because at the end of his official visit, the Gators had a No. 10 jersey out for both him and another prospective recruit. “You can’t have two number 10s; that was a mistake.”

The one and only Deion Sanders

How would have "Prime Time's" football career evolved under Vince Dooley? Hmmm

That left FSU for the speedy DB who may have changed the game for defensive backs. We’ll let Deion, as only Deion can do, tell the rest of the story:

“Everything was wonderful,” Sanders said, “but the best thing they did was in the cafeteria. They had a lady named Miss Betty. Miss Betty, African-American lady. The cafeteria was like the Golden Coral, which is one of my favorite restaurants. I knew I couldn’t cook. I couldn’t warm up anything because my momma did everything. She always made food or my stepdaddy did.”

Miss Betty’s cooking and Bobby Bowden’s “soft sell” recruiting approach won over FSU for the later NFL Hall of Famer known as “Prime Time.”

WE’VE MOVED!!! Visit the AJC’s NEW Recruiting page by clicking here or going to ajc.com/sports/recruiting

***

RELATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING STORIES

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? mcarvell@ajc.com

CLICK HERE to catch up on ALL of the LATEST RECRUITING NEWS

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC

168 comments Add your comment

Contractor

August 5th, 2011
9:36 am

FDawg,

I’m with you. Who cares about what he has to say. His time is over, and he can’t seem to let go. Definitely why he’s trying to mentor younger players like Noel Devine, so he can stay in the game. The guy just can’t let go as he is all of a sudden a spiritual man now, and wants to help out all of these kids. Doesn’t work like that where you can just turn into a good human being after all the bad stuff you’ve probably done.

Tc

August 5th, 2011
9:38 am

Squirrel dawg: everyone doesn’t want to run him off. I wish they did. The difference is that Richt continues to make very bad decisions. And you people that support him have no balls to take a chance to improve the situation. Our program is beginning to resemble the Bowden Florida State issue where the guy is clearing not being productive but the school can’t find a way to get rid of him. I just don’t want to wait another 5 years of being the 3rd or 4th best team in the sec east.

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
9:40 am

…..and Georgia fans….I know you think Mr. Theus is the #1 OT in the country…..but the Florida coaches don’t. They consider Humphries far more athletic and with more potential. Time will tell, of course.

Tc

August 5th, 2011
9:40 am

There are a lot of similarities between that Bowden of the last 5 years and CMR

bucket

August 5th, 2011
9:43 am

I totally agree that Knowshon should have seen the field earlier and more often in 2007, but he was redshirted in 2006 primarily because he was injured early. Richt had already learned that lesson this year because Crowell was going to play this year even before Ealey and King left UGA. Redshirting players today makes no sense unless they are linemen who need a year to grow or unless a player gets injured. Murray should have played 2 years ago after he got healthy because the season was shot anyway and he would have been more ready to play last year. Any player that is talented enough to play in the NFL is going to leave after 3 years anyway, so coaches need to use them while they have them. If a player doesn’t pan out as an NFl-caliber player they can stay 4 years and then be easily replaced.

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
9:44 am

SimpleDawg….

You might not like Dion’s personality or his religion……

But Dion did not have to tackle people because no one could catch the ball if he covered them….and Dion would stick his head in to make a tackle if he had to….which wasn’t very ofen. With any bias….he was absolutely the best cover corner to ever play in college or in the NFL. Champ is very good……but he is no Dion (and I absolutely hate FSU and will still say that about Dion).

gdawginkalamazoo

August 5th, 2011
9:46 am

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 5th, 2011
9:46 am

Primetime in Red and Black that would have been a sight to see. Sanders was key in putting FSU on the map with recruits heading into the 90’s.

Also to my stalker, I am so glad I am in your head that with every post you insist in including me in your name. I am flattered that at some point I pi$$ed you off so bad that it has unnerved you to reach this point. So keep up the good work and carry on your wayward journey my friend…

RedandBlackDAWG

August 5th, 2011
9:50 am

No coach or for that fact, no man is, ever perfect. It is a game people, not the end all to life. If you all are looking for a perfect man and coach, I suggest you see if you can build a robot to meet those qualifications. Some of the greatest coaches in the history of professional and college football have had down years, made mistakes and had regrets for an action they have taken while in charge. Honestly, can any of you on here, name one coach who has not made a mistake in his life? I know I can’t. Sanders was a unique talent for sure, but one player doesn’t make a team successful by himself. How great would he have been, if teams had been more run orientated and 75% of his job would have been to tackle a runner, that had penetrated the front line of a defense? He was a lock down CB, but his weakness, if it could be considered one, was that he knew that and he wasn’t about to get his body tore up, trying to knock out a runner, by tackling him head on. It was either push out of bounds, or help me, when it came to tackling for Sanders. He could flat cover a receiver though and get to the ball.
When coaches are lucky and land a game changer they are the greatest coach in the world. When they make a mistake, they are accused of being a bad coach or not knowing what they are doing. Me personally, I don’t care how much money a guy can make coaching, I wouldn’t want to do it. I thrived in pressure and loved it when I was in the service, but even that got old after 20+ years. These coaches are under the microscope 24/7, so give them a break. Just enjoy the game of football and quit always being so negative. Nobody is perfect and if you claim to be, I want to see the nail scars on your hands and feet.

GO DAWGS

dawgster

August 5th, 2011
9:50 am

@TampaGator…You know I respect your comments but why start with the remarks about the OT recruits toward dawg fans..both tems appear to be gettihg players who they wanted to fill their needs, not sure…Does it matter who you or I think is better at this point…Alot of football to play for these young men before that question can be answered…..I really don’t care what recruiting services say one way or the other…The coaches bring these guys inot camp and do their best to evaluate them and determine how they fit there schemes….go dawgs

Curious George

August 5th, 2011
9:53 am

Shouldn’t there be another ‘R’ in “corral,” particularly “Golden Corral?”

How would the ability of Deion Sanders to spell and articulate evolved under Vince Dooley?

dawgster

August 5th, 2011
9:55 am

RedandBlackDawg…great comments and insight…go dawgs

gdawginkalamazoo

August 5th, 2011
9:57 am

” I had just witnessed them getting their butts kicked against Georgia Tech” And us kicking Florida’s butt. My how times have changed.

ATLBorn

August 5th, 2011
10:02 am

Deion “tackled like a sissy”?? Who cares?! The man was a cornerback. Any team relying on the good tackling skills of their corners SUCKS! Safeties need to be good tacklers, corners don’t. This guy was the best cover corner ever, took away a whole side of the field from the passing game. Some of you don’t know football if you have no idea of the major disadvantage that is for the opposing offense. Champ Bailey was a great corner in college and the pro’s. But Deion is an all time great, really the greatest corner.

ATLBorn

August 5th, 2011
10:05 am

Curios – Umm, Deion was quoted for this article, he didn’t write it. So take your issue with “coral” vs “corral” up with Carvell.

CMS

August 5th, 2011
10:08 am

Some of you are some of the DUMBEST HOMERS ever to walk the earth to criticize Deion Sanders who actually engages in community services and embraces our youth in rec ball. Some of you all actually hate confidence.

Deon

August 5th, 2011
10:12 am

Where’s McCarver?

Joey

August 5th, 2011
10:12 am

Squirreldawg, don’t be a dufus. Average coach? So if you take the 4 years when Myer had Tebow away, is Myer’s record “pedestrian?” How about Pete Carroll without Bush and Leinart? Chizik without Cam?

And, news alert for you! Dooley and Richt have nearly the same winning percentage – 73% and 74%. Dooley’s early teams played 10-game seasons (plus bowl game), while Richt always has 12 game seasons (plus bowl game), hence the difference in wins per season.

And I am a life long Dawg.

Did you all see GT's pre season pick for 2011?

August 5th, 2011
10:12 am

Pollsters are indicating mighty GT and fabulous CPJ will be like 4-4 in the powerfull ACC and 6-7 over all and they even had sad NC ranked ahead of GT. NC does not have a big name coach, “like GT has with CPJ” but they still were picked ahead of GT.

The world knows that CPJ is looking to send his resume anywhere in order to get out of hapless GT. He knows that he has done nothing at GT and his resume and career are taking a hit for that failure. No titles, no bowl wins, no nothing AND he is 1-2 vs UGA in the worst era in maybe 20 years.

CPJ also knows that at GT ………………….head football coaches come and they go every 4 years and he is in his 4th ………………..all the way back to Dodd, wen Dooley ran him off in 67. Dodd, Carson, Fulmer, Lewis, Curry, Ross, O’Leary, CPJ, Rodgers, and one or two more names that I have forgotton.

GT is in deep T now and it is spnning out of control and CPJ knows it.

Tim McCarver

August 5th, 2011
10:13 am

You’re a real man Deion!

Beast from the East

August 5th, 2011
10:13 am

Beast from the East

August 5th, 2011
10:17 am

“FSU is getting ready to dominate again. They are the school of choice in Florida as of now, the coaching has picked up a notch or two there.”

JB,
Not doubt Jimbo is doing a great job in recruting, but so is Muschamp. Most services have UF’s 2012 class ranked #4 right now with many still to come. Besides, we all know you still have to coach ‘em up once they get there (see Mark Richt). Jimbo hasn’t won anything yet…..nor has Muschamp.

Beast from the East

August 5th, 2011
10:21 am

“call it sour grapes if you want to, but i’ve always thought that he fits into that extremely rare and small category of “i’d rather lose without him, than win with him”

bulleagle,
I agree. No denying Deon’s accomplishments on the field, but I never did like his personality. Not a team player.

Destin Dawg

August 5th, 2011
10:21 am

Dooley made a career out of Hershell Walker and Erk Russell’s Junkyard Dawg Defense…. Todd Grantham is going to do that for UGA …. in next couple years…. and make Richt’s career…. Go Dawgs !!!

AdMan

August 5th, 2011
10:30 am

RedandBlackDAWG….Great comments you and only a hand full of other people who post on here make any sense when it comes to evaluating your team, other teams, coaches etc…..Deion Sanders was a good, not great cornerback. He was fast and could cover man-to- man as good as anyone in the game…but he was a pu22y when it came to tackling and consistantly shied away from contact during games….I’ll take Champ Bailey over Deion any day….Deion did however make the best quote I’ve ever heard on draft day. When asked by a reporter what he would have done if Detroit had picked him ahead of Atlanta…Deion replied “I would have asked for so much money Detroit would have had to put me on lay away”….consider the source.

Dirty Dawg

August 5th, 2011
10:34 am

…and all this time I was led to believe that his decision ‘not’ to come to Georgia was the answers he got to a couple of questions he asked of Vince…one, ‘Whatayamean we don’t get free shoes?’…and two, ‘Ya’ll got any decent ‘jury-stores’ here?’.

Deon may have turned into a far better citizen than he ‘projected’ coming out of college, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was a world-class hot-dog/show-boat, that would only have fit in in Tallahassee. As for his tackling like a girl, you’re kidding, right? He never tackled at all. His greatest skill was to stay close to his receiver and hold him – after a ball-carrier came through the line – and keep him between himself and the guy that he should have been trying to tackle.

One of my saddest memories was of a world-class, no-nonsense, defensive coach and Georgia graduate, Marion Campbell, having to hold up a Falcons jersey on a grinnin’ Deion, as Atlanta’s number one pick that season, who had a leather jacket on, open to the navel with a ton of ‘bling’ dangling around his neck – oh yeah, and gold in his teeth. My thoughts then and now was that Marion was wishing he could pinch his head off instead. The second saddest was to realize that there was no God – when it came to NFL football – when the fist ball Deion touched he returned for a touchdown…OK, I’ll give him the McCarver thing but that didn’t make up for all the crap that came before it.

Charles

August 5th, 2011
10:36 am

Ah yes, just another amateur hour hackjob baiting at UGA fans. What a pointless thing to write about.

Destin Dawg

August 5th, 2011
10:37 am

FSU will dominate because they’re in the ACC.. that also means I can root for them too !! Go Dawgs !!

jarvis

August 5th, 2011
10:41 am

If the queen had balls, she’d be the king.

GeoffDawg

August 5th, 2011
10:41 am

Dawg MD – As good as Cam Newton was at Auburn, he would’ve struggled mightily in Georgia’s offense as QB. Auburn runs the spread, Georgia runs Pro-Style. Did you hear that interview between Jon Gruden and Cam Newton prior to the draft? Cam couldn’t name or even describe a single offensive play, he only knew numbers. With the restricted number of practices, it would’ve taken him more than his one season to get up to speed on the playbook.

Scott

August 5th, 2011
10:42 am

I would hardly say fsu is back. How about winning the acc first. VT did blow them out last year.

Beast from the East

August 5th, 2011
10:42 am

jarvis,
LOL!

BPCDOGG

August 5th, 2011
10:45 am

Deion never would have been caught from behind, much less by a tight end. This Champ is better than Deion $hit is crazy.

Tyler

August 5th, 2011
10:45 am

destin dummy
do you know who is one of uga’s biggest recruiting rivals is? fsu. rooting for them is insane. they are already taking away potential players and i guarantee you there is a direct correlation to richt doing well in 02, coming from fsu and fsu slumping right after and uga doing well for about 5 years and now uga slumping and fsu coming back the past 2 years. they are taking recruits now.pulling for them is not smart.

Dr. Phil

August 5th, 2011
10:51 am

In the 60’s, Dooley put UGA on the national map. He had good assistants and ran a disciplined program. The other critical piece of that equation was AD Joel Eaves. Eaves was a old-school gentleman who kept a sharp eye on the athletic department. Those two coaches and a couple of outstanding presidents built the foundation and alumni support that facilitated Richt’s success and kept the pirate, Adams, rolling in money. I believe that Deion Sanders departed FSU with no academic credit. There is no question that Bowden ran a very loose program that fitted Sander’s personality more than UGA would have.

tony

August 5th, 2011
10:54 am

I bet the people who are saying Vince Dooley was an average coach weren’t even born or either too young to know anything about football. I like V.Dooley’s style of coaching a hundred times better than Mr.Richt’s style of coaching because Vince periodically ran the ball down his opponents throats rather on 1st, 2nd, 3rd even on 4th downs. Vince’s motto was “Stop Me If You Can”.

Here’s what I don’t like about Mr.Richt. Ealey picks up 7 yards on 1st down but on the very next play Mr.Richt brings in C.Thomas and then pass on 2nd and 3. The end result? They don’t pick up the 1st down. It been that way ever since Mr.Richt became the hc at uga. The proof is in the pudding.

NCAA.ORG
2001 Total Offense Rank 21st………….Total Defense Rank 49th
2002 Total Offense Rank 49th………….Total Defense Rank 15th
2003 Total Offense Rank 58th………….Total Defense Rank 4th
2004 Total Offense Rank 31st………….Total Defense Rank 8th
2005 Total Offense Rank 49th………….Total Defense Rank 18th
2006 Total Offense Rank 90th………….Total Defense Rank 8th
2007 Total Offense Rank 74th………….Total Defense Rank 14th
2008 Total Offense Rank 22nd…………Total Defense Rank 22nd
2009 Total Offense Rank 75th………….Total Defense Rank 38th
2010 Total Offense Rank 56th………….Total Defense Rank 23rd

Albanydog

August 5th, 2011
11:03 am

Deion was the Ali of football

ATLER (ramblin wreck)

August 5th, 2011
11:06 am

You uga homers are smoking crack and herion if you think Champ is and was better then Prime Time. Deion was a straight up shut down corner as well as an amazing punt returner in college and the pros. You haters need to stop all the c@#p talking about Champ’s a better cb. Not taking anything away from Champ, he’s a great cb, but Deion changed the CB position. PERIOD!!!!!!

JB

August 5th, 2011
11:10 am

tony…………..good post with good info. we have an offensive minded head coach. Ouch.

JB

August 5th, 2011
11:12 am

Let’s just say Champ was the more ” complete” DB. Sanders would stop and wait for someone to tackle a WR loose with ball in the secondary….and that’s the truth.

gdawginkalamazoo

August 5th, 2011
11:21 am

Deion was definitely a great athlete, nobody can argue that. It would have been better if he had been a “shut-up” corner.

Lowcountry bulldawg & RedandBlackDAWG are d---he bags

August 5th, 2011
11:36 am

Neon Deion is a has been, no one cares.

Drago

August 5th, 2011
11:42 am

Deion was probably the best pure athlete I have ever seen on a football field. His tremendous speed made up for his being constantly out of position as a corner. Still, he is HOF material as he did change the game to some extent. He changed it to a more selfish, look at me league.

I would take Champ. He had brothers.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

August 5th, 2011
11:43 am

If Champ ran his mout as much as Deion he would be considered the greatest.

Sorry to those who think Deion was better but compare their stats and you will see Champ is better even in a shorter amount of time

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
12:01 pm

Didn’t Neon Dion play for the Falcons when Glanville was the head coach….or an assistant coach? And Glanville was the same wise head coach that sent that “party” QB “packing” to Green Bay…as punishment…..to become a Hall of Fame QB there instead of in Atlanta….I think his name was Brett Farve. Glanville didn’t want any flashy players like Neon Dion and “Paint the Town” Farve playing for his team….and no future hall of famers either….because Glanville didn’t want any spotlight taken off of him. ….Imagine if Glanville had not been the coach for the Falcons…..Farve and Sanders would have stayed and played their entire careers, maybe, in Atlanta….and how many Super Bowl titles would the Falcons now have? More than “none” I would expect. And how many did Sanders and Farve win with the teams they played for? More than none.

P.S. What is the debate about between Bailey and Sanders? Both are great CBs…both in college and the NFL. Both are in the top 10 for all time corners in the NFL……but Sanders was a better overall player because of his ability to return kicks, etc. But both are great NFL players. Stupid debate. You win titles with either one……and yes, Bailey tackles better than Sanders. But Sanders covers better than Bailey. Difference is: Sanders had to tackle less than Bailey becaue no one passed the ball his way…..hardly ever….and if they did more than twice in a game…..Sanders either picked off the 3rd….and often ran it back for a TD……with hands behind his head, dancing….and still outrunning every player on the field….amazing athlete. Never been another like him.

And…..Dawgster……I was anticipating a Dawg response to me saying Humphries was the #1 OT…..when you guys just got Theus, who is also rated a #1. Just trying to ward off being called a “moron” and and an “idioit” again…..and other critical, personal attacks…..but…..without success, obviously.

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
12:10 pm

Flat Tire…..

In order to get stats……QBs have to throw the ball your way…..and not many QBs threw at Sanders. So….don’t measure Sanders skills on stats……they lie. Sanders was and is the best CB in college and NFL history…….hands down…..and without bias……and he went to FSU…..and no one hates FSU more than me……and it pains me to say that Neon was the best……but he was and is. Period.

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
12:11 pm

Flat tire……

Have you had that flat tire 18 out of the last 21 years?

msd

August 5th, 2011
12:24 pm

Deion – the ego king. I aint redshirting behind no one, no tgive me my number – forget it. I’ll go where they cook best for me. A seriosusy well thought out recruiting path, but he did not have to choose a school since he never went to cvlass, just a team.

gunga din

August 5th, 2011
12:44 pm

looks to me that Dooley dodge a bullet by not signing this arrogant POS thug!!

Fan of the Game

August 5th, 2011
12:47 pm

Deion should have played the game without pads. He never used them, so why wear them.