‘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

Sandlapper

August 5th, 2011
2:28 am

Redshirt? REDSHIRT? I’m the MVP!

tjhook

August 5th, 2011
2:58 am

Coach Dooley made a mistake on that one! Wasn’t Rodney Hampton running the ball then or was it Cleveland Gary/ Lars Tate.

Cmon man

August 5th, 2011
4:17 am

people love to talk bad about cmr redshirting knowshon I bet they wont say a thing about the “great vince dooley” totally blowing his chance to sign the best corner to ever play the game. Im sure most people will give dooley a pass and continue to act like cmr redshirting knowshon was the 8th deadly sin!

Dawg MD

August 5th, 2011
4:45 am

@Cmon man, I AGREE redshirting Knowshon was hands down the worst personnel decision ever by Richt. Cost us an SEC championship. The worst recruiting decision was Richt admitting he recruited Cam Newton as a tight end. As much as I hate Auburn, you can’t ignore the facts. Cam Newton won the Heisman and was the #1 NFL pick. Obviously, a lot of people, well almost everybody on the Planet Earth, thought Cam might play QB a little better than TE. What a comedy. I blame that one on Bobo, who was somewhere in Missouri recruiting …….. …. quarterback Logan Gray. Great talent evaluation there.

once a dawg always a dog

August 5th, 2011
6:50 am

IF IF IF…………..If

Dawgs living in the past...

August 5th, 2011
6:56 am

But you are getting closer….1986

Larry

August 5th, 2011
7:12 am

This is one of the major reasons VD was such a lousy coach. He doublecrossed so many players and was so arrogant he turned people off. Dooley was the worst.

JB

August 5th, 2011
7:16 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. They play in the ACC, so look for them to win 10-11 games and be in the top 10, if not the top 5.

Lars Taint

August 5th, 2011
7:23 am

To critisize Mark Richt for redshirting Moreno is just dumb. We only had Kregg Lumpkin, Thomas Brown, and Danny Ware returning that year. Moreno would have had a long way to work himself up the depth chart. He was a highly recruited, but was not considered “elite” coming out of high school. There was no way to know he would develop into the great back that he did once he got to UGA. But I’m sure that kind of logic will fall on deaf ears here.

mainline

August 5th, 2011
7:25 am

dooley made his entire career off of 1 player: h. walker. Other than that—he was an average coach.

No Prime Time for you | Get The Picture

August 5th, 2011
7:34 am

[...] to have been a fly on the wall for this meeting (h/t Michael Carvell). “I went to the University of Georgia,” Sanders said. “On my recruiting trip, [...]

Burdell

August 5th, 2011
7:35 am

What a bunch of UGA homers so far on the poll. Don’t get me wrong…Champ Bailey was an outstanding college DB but Deion, as much as it pains me to say it, changed the game forever–both at the college level and the pro level.

Herschel Talker

August 5th, 2011
7:40 am

It’s nice to see that Dooley was as stupid with regards to player evaluation as Richt is. These guys redshirt superstars. Brilliant. My gosh, can we please get a coach with competence and talent evaluation skills?

JustMyOpinion

August 5th, 2011
7:58 am

mainline- dooley made his entire career off of 1 player: h. walker. Other than that—he was an average coach.
I’ve never thought about it until now, but this may be true!

Joey

August 5th, 2011
8:04 am

Lars, Knowshon didn’t “develop.” As a true freshman, he showed up at camp doing 360s and jumping over tacklers. My neighbor’s son was a walk-on on that team while in law school and constantly told us about Knowshon – that nobody could tackle him in practice.

We had some goods backs, but Knowshon was head and shoulders above the others.

Cmon man

August 5th, 2011
8:09 am

its easy to sit back after the fact and say that cmr blew it on cam newton but to be honest coming out of high school cam was good but he wasnt a player that you could say would make or break your career if he didnt sign with you. To be honest if anybody remembers sean jones well he was a MUCH better qb prospect than cam was coming out of westlake (trust me I played against him) and he ended up being a pretty good safety at uga. Also its pretty clear none of you watched cam play a game in high school because if you did then you would know that westlake ran a spread attack very similar to uf’s offense cam would have been way behind the curve going from spread to pro style its easier to make the switch from spread to pro style from college to pro because they understand the game better and fundamentals are way better but in college while still trying to learn the game he would have been a fish out of water. Nothing against cam but if you watched him in hs you would walk away saying he is a good qb but wouldnt have been gushing about him saying we have to sign him

Joey

August 5th, 2011
8:14 am

Wow! Herschel won 6 SEC titles? Herschel took UGA to 8 major bowls? Dang, Herschel helped UGA beat unbeaten and #2 ranked Texas, the year AFTER he left UGA.

Name me coach who won a national title WITHOUT a Heisman-caliber player on his team?

Y’all are crazy. Dooley was a fine coach – not perfect – but great.

At least he was smart enough to surround himself with talented assistants.

At least he could beat UF. . .

Who cares

August 5th, 2011
8:18 am

Deion, tell the truth, Dooley’s “offer” was lower than F$U. Sanders is nothing but a self-serving…………

gdawginkalamazoo

August 5th, 2011
8:22 am

Let’s see, a redshirt or free shoes. I’m betting on the free shoes every time.

Kerryb

August 5th, 2011
8:32 am

Who cares, you are absolutely right. Bobby Bowden”s “soft sell” approach. Don’t make me laugh. Bowden just showed him a larger brief case full of cash and Deion would have us believe it was the food in the cafeteria. That’s just funny.

SimpleDawg

August 5th, 2011
8:33 am

How long do y’all think Deion would have lasted in Athens with Dooley? ……not long. Dooley didn’t mind having “characters”, as long as they were team guys. A self-promoting, self-serving loudmouth like Neon Deion wouldn’t have made it through a redshirt season.

As for Knowshon, sometimes players have to develop and evolve into what their best usage will be….Pollock, Davis, Edwards, etc…..

well said

August 5th, 2011
8:34 am

Dawg MD, Bobo was not in Missouri. He was in Texas getting some QB named Matthew Stafford. We did not need Cam Newton. And Auburn may soon regret it too.

Cmon man

August 5th, 2011
8:38 am

Joey be honest if dooley coached today he would never have lasted as long as he did yes he won games but he had quite a few mediocre season. Before the 1980 season dooley won 5 games heck it took cmr 10yrs to have a losing season and folks are ready to run him out of town.

gdawginkalamazoo

August 5th, 2011
8:41 am

Didn’t Dooley have 200 wins? That’s a little better than average I think.

bulleagle

August 5th, 2011
8:41 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”

private plan watching

August 5th, 2011
8:57 am

Talk about a dream team…

Fan of the Game

August 5th, 2011
8:58 am

I could care less about the recruiting of Deion. I am glad he didn’t come to UGA. People have forgotten about the true Deion back in those days. He didn’t know what team was. Playing with the Braves helped Deion mature as much as anything. Coach Dooley did exactly what I would have done. The only thing I would have done differently is I would have told Sanders to not let the door hit him on the way out.

Crowell's facebook page/Lowcountry bulldawg is a d---her

August 5th, 2011
9:03 am

COULDA……
SHOULDA…..
WOULDA

Fleabag nation’s motto

JB

August 5th, 2011
9:05 am

Any Dumba$$ can roll out of bed every morning….but to say that without Herschel, Dooley would have been a one hit wonder is totally wrong. Number 1, look around the campus and see all the wonderful Athletic faculties. They were built and paid for because of Vince. Look at all the great players he turned out. Look at how well that program was run. He did sign Herschel. He did use him correctly…and they did win a National Championship. Give us Auburn last year with no Cam. You have a 7-5 team. We can what if all day haters, with every coach.

T-Dawg

August 5th, 2011
9:07 am

Fire Dooley!!! uh….

Joey

August 5th, 2011
9:07 am

6-5 in ‘79.

I think winning 201 games while competing in the SEC (at a 73% rate), 6 SEC Titles, 1 National Title, playing for 2 other national Titles, 17-7-1 record vs UF, 8 major bowl games.

I think he could have kept his job today.

St. Richt

August 5th, 2011
9:09 am

Champ Bailey couldn’t hold Deion’s jock, in college or the NFL. Get real people. Champ is a great player but Deion is the best corner thats ever played the game. There is no way to compare the two. That is unfair to Champ or anyone else for that matter…

SuperB

August 5th, 2011
9:09 am

I love Deion and Dooley made a mistake. But Champ was the better college player and better pro player as well. Did anyone ever see Deion ever, actually tackle another player? I mean really hit him.

I agree

August 5th, 2011
9:10 am

Most of you people would fail as coaches. I agree with Lars Taint. All three of the backs in front of Moreno were NFL caliber backs and all got the oppurtunity to play in the NFL. Why waste a year of eligibility on splitting time with three established backs?

Burdell

August 5th, 2011
9:11 am

gdawg…nice one. Good ole’ Free $hoes U.

JB

August 5th, 2011
9:13 am

I agree… We agree………most posting on here are not qualified to coach Pee wee football….much less the demands of coaching a SEC team.

St. Richt

August 5th, 2011
9:15 am

SuperB, you’re crazy. I don’t recall many ferocious Champ Bailey hits, either.

Brick Paver

August 5th, 2011
9:15 am

Er, Cam Newton first matriculated at the University of Florida where he a.) with all his Herculean talent did not displace one Tim Tebow; and, b.) managed to displace a computer not his own.

Me thinks Mr. Newton would have still been bound for glory elsewhere.

Paul N Destin

August 5th, 2011
9:18 am

Coach Dooley was doing what he thought would be best for the team and Sanders was looking for what was best for him only. Coaching these pricks today is even worse and will get much worse in the coming years.

Contractor

August 5th, 2011
9:18 am

Who cares about Deion Sanders. He was fast as lightning, but his sissy tackling skills leave much more to be desired from me. He was coming through when I was a young kid, and I never for once got on the train like most people. His attitude even today shows me what a good decision I made not to hold him in a high regard. It was always about him, not the team, and it still is always about him. I’m glad he didn’t come to Georgia, that way Florida State can still hold the title for allowing the most criminals and illiterate athletes of all time, maybe rivaling Miami.

And to jump on the train with everyone else, redshirting Knowshon was a HUGE mistake. Seeing as they saw his athleticism from day one, and still held him back a year was a major error by the coaching staff. Since Georgia did not have a dominate back, that shows even more so that it was a stupid mistake. Of course hindsight is 20/20, but look back at the articles and it clearly states how impressed by his strength, moves, and athleticism the team and all the coaches were. I still don’t understand that move till this day.

Tc

August 5th, 2011
9:19 am

That sounds like something dumd a?! Dooley would do.

Tc

August 5th, 2011
9:21 am

Hind sight being 20/20! CMR has never learned from anything!

Pat

August 5th, 2011
9:24 am

Champ is a much better all around corner then Deion. Prime Time couldn’t tackle a middle schooler. If Champ acted half as flashy as Deion did more people would know how good he really is. Instead Champ is a true professional who goes about his craft in a workman like manner, and has become one of the best DB’s to ever play the game. While I acknowledge that Deion is a slightly better cover corner, Champ is the better all around corner. People also need to remember that a lot of Deion’s value came from punt returns. All-in-all both were great college and pro corners. Champ will join Deion in the Hall of Fame when he retires.

Tc

August 5th, 2011
9:26 am

Here is the deal, for every one good decision CMR has made there are 10 horrible ones made. This will not ever change. For the record Dooley was an awful AD as well

FDawg

August 5th, 2011
9:27 am

Does anybody really care about Deon’s comments? blah blah blah

Squirreldawg

August 5th, 2011
9:31 am

Joey, you are so misinformed……..Vince Dooley was an average coach at best, his overall record of 201-77-10 over 25 years comes out to an average record of 8-3 every year……take out the 3 years he had Herschel and you have a very pedestrian 168-74-9 over 22 years for an average record of 7.5 – 3.5…………average at best…….his arrogance cost us another shot at a national title in 1982, with his reluctance to open up the offense, and his hiring of Bill Lewis as Def co-ordinator………If he coached in todays time he wouldn’t have last 10 years at UGA…….his bowl record is 8-12….everyone wants to run off Mark Richt who is averaging 9 wins a year and is 7-3 in bowl games………Dooley is way overated…….and I am a lifelong Dawg fan

chadro415

August 5th, 2011
9:32 am

thats still a huge problem for Georgia today… everybody knows that the only way you are guaranteed a chance to play as a true freshman is if the team has no other choice due to injuries, arrests, or whatever the case may be… no true competitor ever wants to sit and who could blame them… you could very well lose a step… i think with that said we will see a heavy dose of Richard Samuel at RB no matter how Crowell plays unless…….. wait for it…Samuel cant hold on to the ball any better than King or Ealey… and if my memory serves me well he can’t

kevin

August 5th, 2011
9:34 am

I am a UGA fan and Champ was amazing, but Deion was one of the 2 best corners to every play college football (at least since I started watching in the 80s). Though, the best was Charles Woodson.

SimpleDawg

August 5th, 2011
9:35 am

Yes, Champ and Deion can be compared…….

……put them both in a tackling drill.

All-around, Champ was the better defender. Deion was the better returner, self-promoter, quote maker and new-found-religion Reverend.

TampaGator

August 5th, 2011
9:35 am

JB…..

Florida will mostly like land the #1 OT in the country when Mr. Humphries makes his commit today up in NC…..which will probably propel Florida’s current 2012 class slightly ahead of FSU’s class, as FSU is slightly ahead of Florida at the moment. Yep…..FSU is dominating Florida……with one win in the last 8 years…..dominating them. Win 7 in a row….FSU….against Florida….and then talk about dominating….or even 2 NC in a decade….and then run your mouth…..no….instead, why don’t you go out shopping for some more free shoes for your university. Fisher is a great coach and he has brought FSU back quickly, but to say you are dominating the state….give me a break.