Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sanders, Maryland Headed Into College Football Hall of Fame

Sanders and Lawrence Taylor (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
One actual and one adopted ACC football player are part of this year’s class of inductees into the FBS College Football Hall of Fame – Florida State cornerback Deion Sanders (1985-98) and Miami defensive tackle Russell Maryland.

Sanders was known for his acrobatic interceptions and electric punt returners. He won the 1988 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back, and finished his career with 14 interceptions -- a number that ranked second all-time at FSU when he left in 1988.

During his junior and senior seasons, Florida State was 11-1 with a pair of New Year’s Day bowl wins. In 1988, he ranked among the top 10 nationally with five interceptions in nine games.

Russell Maryland and the Ibis
That year, he was also the nation’s top punt returner with 15.2 yards per return. He also set the career record for punt return yardage when he left with 1,429. Sanders ranks third on the FSU career interceptions list and still holds seven school records for interceptions and punt returns.

Sanders was a three-sport star in football, baseball and track and was eventually a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and also started in centerfield for the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds. He was the fifth pick in the 1989 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons, won two Super Bowls with San Francisco and Dallas, and also played in the World Series with Atlanta. Sanders had his jersey retired in 1995.

Maryland played tackle at Miami and was the 1990 Outland Trophy winner prior to be taken as the top pick in the 1991 NFL draft.  His Hurricanes won the National Championship in 1989, and his ten year NFL career (nine with the Dallas Cowboys) included three Super Bowl wins.  He was a NFL Pro Bowl selection in 1993.

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