Over the next few weeks, we are going to be bringing you the top 25 most exciting unlockable players for the upcoming Madden NFL 25 release.
Up next is "Prime Time" himself, the great Deion Sanders.
*All stats provided by Pro-Football-Reference.
After completing an All-American career at Florida State, Deion Sanders was chosen by the Atlanta Falcons with the fifth pick of the first round of the 1989 NFL draft.
In his rookie campaign, he intercepted five balls, forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble. He also scored his first NFL touchdown that year, returning a punt for 68 yards.
Sanders began his career with Atlanta making sure everyone knew he was a showstopper. Here he is in his first game, scoring his first NFL touchdown on his very first punt return. As football fans would come to find out, Sanders was blessed with speed, agility and the ability to make opponents miss.
As soon as he saw open space, he was gone.
Interestingly enough, Sanders was also drafted in the MLB by the New York Yankees in 1988. He made his baseball debut playing for the Yankees' Triple-A club in Columbus, Ohio, during the summer of 1989.
Sanders became one of only a handful of players to play two professional sports at the same time. He played football in the fall and played in the MLB—playing for a handful of different teams, including the Yankees, Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds—during the summer months.
An interesting fact that only Sanders can lay claim to is that he is the only athlete to have played in both a World Series (with the Atlanta Braves) and the Super Bowl (with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys), proving, if nothing else, that he's a winner.
And though he never took the Falcons to a Superbowl, some of Sanders' best statistical years were played in the self proclaimed "House that Deion built".
Sanders accomplished quite a bit on the gridiron as well as on the diamond, but here's just a sampling of his career highlights:
1 Defensive Player of the Year Award
8 Pro Bowl selections
6 First Team All Pro selections
First-Team Pro Football Hall Of Fame All-1990s Team
2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee
2 Super Bowl championships (49ers, Cowboys)
Most teams that played against Prime Time will tell you that having him on one side of the field effectively meant you only had half the field to operate on. Sanders sometimes bragged that he could go through a whole game and not get dirty.
53 career interceptions
22 touchdowns scored (kick returns, punt returns, interceptions, receptions and fumble recovery).
1,331 interception return yards
3,523 kickoff return yards
2,199 punt return yards
Whether it was returning a punt or a kickoff, scooping up a fumble or picking off a pass, as soon as Sanders had the ball in his hands, you could feel electricity in the stadium. All of the fans knew it was "Prime Time."
According to Biography.com, Sanders was quite the basketball player as well. After one particularly good game in high school, a friend gave him the nickname "Prime Time," and the moniker has been with him ever since.
There is no argument that Sanders is on the short list of the greatest defensive backs in pro football history.
Though his interception numbers decreased as his career went along, he still managed to grab several interception records for the 49ers, Cowboys and Falcons. He also holds several Pro Bowl records.
And many say his interception numbers would be even greater if quarterbacks didn't stop throwing in his vicinity after his first six seasons (in which he totaled 30 interceptions).
Some might argue that two of his peers, Charles and Rod Woodson (no relation), were better run defenders but neither of them had the speed nor ball-hawking skills to compare to Sanders in the pass defense argument.
It's a shame that Deion Sanders isn't playing during the social media age, as he would most likely be one of the most popular players in the league right now.
Not many players in history have played better when the brightest of lights were on them. And even fewer combined such on-the-field talent with an equal talent for being a showman. You could bet that if he were playing in 2013, his "Prime Time Dance" would be trending every Sunday.