Sanders in 2010
|Date of birth:||July 16, 1968|
|Place of birth:||Wichita, Kansas|
|Height:||5Â ft 8Â in (1.73Â m)|
|Weight:||200Â lb (91Â kg)|
|High school:||Wichita (KS) North|
|NFL Draft:||1989Â / Round:Â 1Â / Pick:Â 3|
Detroit Lions (1989â€“1998)
|Career highlights and awards|
10Ã— Pro Bowl (1989â€“1998)
|Career NFL statistics|
I sat behind Thurman Thomas for my first couple of years, then my first year starting I won the Heisman. After I won the Heisman, that's when things changed as far as going to the NFL.
I'm not better than anyone else. I'm not supposed to be on a pedestal. I've always stayed away from that.
If I could start with anybody, I would initially draft Tom Brady. Then I would go get Ray Lewis, and then maybe an offensive lineman, or somebody like Adrian Peterson.
Happiness does not come from football awards. It's terrible to correlate happiness with football. Happiness comes from a good job, being able to feed your wife and kids. I don't dream football, I dream the American dream – two cars in a garage, be a happy father.
My mother was a huge influence on me. She was a living example of what a Christian should be. Her conviction, her discipline. She would rather see other people happy than herself.
I wish my teammates, coaches and the entire Lions organization all the best.
I don't want to get too detailed into it, but when you're a good high school running back, you can almost be whatever type of runner you want to be. If you're a good size and a good athlete, you can be whatever type of runner you want.
Christianity affects your whole life. I feel I'm more competitive, a better player, but off the field is where there is always a battle.
Shortly after the end of last season, I felt that I probably would not return for the 1999-2000 season. I also felt that I should take as much time as possible to sort through my feelings and make sure that my feelings were backed with conviction.
It was a wonderful experience to play in the NFL, and I have no regrets. I truly will miss playing for the Lions. I consider the Lions' players, coaches, staff, management and fans my family. I leave on good terms with everyone in the organization.
You can look at everything from pre-Heisman to post-Heisman, and I think that's why it ranks up at the top, because before then, I didn't even think I was good enough to be a professional ballplayer.
I quit because I didn't feel like the Detroit Lions had a chance to win. It just killed my enjoyment of the game.
You know, I'm fairly intelligent, but I don't think my grades reflected that.
The game is the ultimate significance to me because it is so important to a lot of people. It has left a mark on our culture to be voted as one of the best to ever play.
I want to thank all of the fans and media who made playing in the NFL such a wonderful experience. I have had the pleasure of meeting many of them.
In all the time that people have known me, has anyone ever heard me talk about the importance of rushing records or finishing with the most touchdowns? So if that's never been important to me, then why would that be a motivation to keep playing?
I'm from Kansas, so there were a lot of vacant lots and open fields to tackle each other in so we could avoid tackling each other on the street. But running on the street and trying not to get taken down on the concrete, that will make you fast, that's for sure.
Anyone who has played the game professionally, you're always taught that the ball is the most important, most precious thing, so when the ball hits the ground, it's always a mad scramble. It's amazing how many times there is a fumble, and the person who recovers it initially doesn't walk away with the ball.
My desire to exit the game is greater than my desire to remain in it. I have searched my heart through and through and feel comfortable with this decision.
As a kid, I played my share of football in the street or in a vacant lot. When we were playing in the street, it was more touch football, so we didn't hit each other into cars.
It's hard to win in the NFL. You have to maintain a very delicate balance putting together the right team to be able to win and have any amount of success.
I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do in school, but I definitely didn't have adequate time to reach my full potential as a student.