Former NFL star Deion Sanders was out promoting Pepsi MAX this week, and carved out a few minutes – eight, specifically – to speak with The Big Lead. Sanders, one of the best cornerbacks in NFL history – and not a bad baseball player, either – bloviates about the NFL seven days a week on the NFL Network, so we decided to ask him some non-NFL questions. It didn’t go too well.
Q: So Deion, are you familiar with blogs at all?
Sanders: No, man. I got five kids. I don’t have time for any of that kind of thing.
Q: Everybody loves a good recruiting story, so I thought we’d start there. Any good tales from the recruiting trail back in the early 80s? [Ed. Desmond Howard remembered his fondly.]
I wasn’t that heralded. I played QB coming out of high school, and I was going to play DB in college, so I was out of position. I don’t really have any stories, man.
Q: Was it FSU all along, or were any other schools in the mix?
I went on a recruiting trip to Georgia. Vince Dooley was the coach. They had just got beat by … I think it was Georgia Tech. I walked into his office and he said, “you could really help us after a redshirt year.” I said, “redshirt? I’m gonna start. What do you mean redshirt?” I couldn’t believe he put me in that category. I crossed Georgia off the list immediately. I just saw his team get its butt kicked and the corners looked horrible. I had really liked Georgia, too.
Let’s not reach back into the past, man. I’m progressive, I like to talk about the present and the future. I don’t want to … let’s talk about current stuff.
Q: You’re a mentor to WVU’s Noel Devine, and you worked with Dez Bryant in recent years. Based on what’s happened this year to college stars like AJ Green and Terrelle Pryor …
I’m a professional analyst. I don’t know the complexities of those stories to really talk about them. I’m engulfed in pro sports. I don’t really know about the college game right now.
Q: Did you at least watch Devine’s final game [Tuesday]?
A little. They barely give him the darn ball.
There are some already out there, but you don’t see the fanfare. There are many 2-sport guys playing at the college level right now.
Q: But most of them pick one sport after college. Will we see another pro baseball/football player?
Society isn’t allowing them to. I don’t know why.
Q: What’d you think of Joe Webb [Tuesday]? The knee jerk reaction is that Minnesota may have solved its QB woes.
That’s our country – we’re quick to hate and quick to appreciate. Webb played a good game.
Q: Leslie Frazier lock up the coaching job last night? He’s 3-2 …
I think Frazier had the job locked up before the win. He’s been a pillar of consistency in Minnesota and will make a great head coach.
Q: Who do you think is the most overrated coach in the NFL right now?
I don’t look at guys like that. If they’ve made it to the NFL, they’ve done a great job. As far as overrating, I don’t do that. Some might not have the weapons, and some aren’t picking the talent.
Q: Do you ever plan on coaching?
No. I coach youth. I love it. I live it. That’s what I do. I don’t have time for grown-ups who have a disdain for discipline. I hope that I can shape the kids when they’re young so they’re ready for the future.
Q: I know you didn’t want to talk about the past, but one of the most iconic locker room moments in the last 20 years involved you and Tim McCarver. Have you spoken to him lately, or ever about the incident?