Bob Sanders was not really recruited out of high school in Erie, Pennsylvania in 2000.
However, one of Sanders’ high school coaches recommended the 5-8 safety to Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz, who was coming off a 1-11 season. The Hawkeyes coach watched film of Sanders and offered him a scholarship.
Ferentz’s eye for talent was confirmed again last weekend when Sanders was inducted into the National Iowa Varsity Club Hall of Fame in Iowa City.
When Sanders walked on campus in 2000, he immediately began playing special teams. When he moved into a starting safety position, the Hawkeyes won 24 of their final 30 games and Sanders was named first team All-Big Ten three consecutive seasons.
Sanders was a second round draft choice of the Colts in 2004. He played seven seasons in Indianapolis including Super Bowl XLI. His contributions in that game against the Bears were two tackles, a forced fumble and an interception. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year the following season…not bad for a “little” guy.
“Bob never changed,” recalls Coach Ferentz, “whether it was in Erie, Iowa City or Indy. He was a dynamic player and impacted everybody, not just the unit on the field. Our whole football team was better because of Bob.“
The NFL quality of play also was better when Bob Sanders was on the field for Coach Tony Dungy and the Colts.
We at NFL Alumni offer a Big Salute to an exceptional player and person…Bob Sanders.