Deion Sanders is known as the king of sound bites, and he proved it prior to the 1989 NFL draft. The New York Giants, who held the 18th overall pick, used one of their allotted interview slots at the NFL Combine on the dynamic, All-America Florida State Seminoles cornerback and kick returner.
In typical Sanders fashion, he stole the show.
Deion Sanders on Draft Day in 1989. The Giants told him to do a written test & he asked them what pick they had.
Giants: “10th pick.”
Deion: “I’ll be gone before then. I ain’t got time for this.” & walked out. pic.twitter.com/X7xAdmgSuI
— Timeless Sports (@timelesssports_) April 29, 2021
“They sat me down and gave me this book. I mean, it was thicker than a phone book. I said, ‘What’s this?’ They said, ‘This is our test we give all the players.’ I said, ‘Excuse me, what pick do you have in the draft?’ They said, ‘I think tenth,’ I said. ‘I’ll be gone before then. I’ll see y’all later. I ain’t got time for this.’ That’s a true story.”
Prime.. 💀💀💀 pic.twitter.com/FB6Atc8tYV
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) March 7, 2022
Sanders was correct, as the Atlanta Falcons took him with the fifth overall pick, and the rest is NFL history.
Sanders wasn’t the only one who had problems with the standardized test that Giants GM George Young was administering to all prospects. The late Dan Reeves, who was the Giants head coach from 1993 through 1996, later complained that the test hurt the team’s chance to land certain prospects, and he believed there were much more important things to talk about concerning draft prospects.
The Hilarious Story of Deion Sanders Walking Out of His Draft Meeting With the Giantshttps://t.co/ihv44i5fva
— 105.3 The FAN (@1053thefan) April 17, 2020
Following his firing in 1996, Reeves discussed those challenges with The New York Times in an interview.
“My contention is that a young man in college who goes to a combine and has to go through all kinds of tests in the combine, and then you ask him to sit down and take a two-hour test, he’s not that excited,” Reeves reasoned. “So how valid is a two-hour test?”
Reeves added: ”You can work hard, as our staff has done over the last four years of putting in input with the scouts. Then you can walk in there the day of the draft and all of a sudden a number of names will be completely off the board because of some psychological test.”
Sanders Becomes A Hall Of Famer, SB Champ, Elite Analyst And College Football Coach
Legend has it, Sanders reportedly ran a 4.2 in the 40-yard dash, then hopped right into his limousine, telling coaches and general managers, “Y’all know where to find me.”
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) April 17, 2014
Sanders would go on to become arguably the greatest cornerback ever. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011, following an illustrious NFL career where he played for the Falcons, Niners, Cowboys, Redskins and Ravens.
During his career Sanders recorded 53 interceptions and 22 total touchdowns in a variety of ways (pick sixes, kick returns, punt returns and receptions). He also won two Super Bowls and was named DPOY in 1994. An eight-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowl selection, Sanders was also named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.
— Sohe Coop (@SoheCoop) December 7, 2021
After 14 years in the NFL Network studio, Sanders is now the head coach of the Jackson State Tigers, where in his first full season he led the program to its first-ever 11-win season, their first SWAC title in 14 years (2007), and an appearance in the Celebration Bowl.
For his efforts he was named the Eddie Robinson Award winner, given annually to the top coach in all of FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) football.
Confidence has never been a problem for Sanders, and he continues to talk the talk and walk the walk.
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