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YouTube Gold: Barry Sanders

The NFL hasn’t seen a guy like him again

Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
 TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 2, 1994: Barry Sanders #20 of the Detroit Lions carries the ball as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the Detroit Lions in an NFL football game 24-14 on October 2, 1994 at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images

Barry Sanders, who spent his entire career with the lowly Detroit Lions, was something of a wizard.

Just 5-8, Sanders was quick and like many great running backs, somehow understood where guys were when he couldn’t see them.

When you watch this video, you’ll see him respond to players he couldn’t possibly see, often spinning out of danger only to accelerate into a long run.

He also had a knack of stopping in traffic and restarting, bursting out of a crowd for huge gains.

Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Sanders didn’t get a whole lot of recruiting love but Oklahoma State offered him and he had a brilliant career there, setting multiple records, some of which still stand.

Despite being just 5-8, Sanders was a nightmare for defenders: he was too small to grab and too strong to hold.

The only bad thing about his career is that it was all in Detroit. Ultimately the losing frustrated him to the point where he retired before he had to. After a somewhat acrimonious departure, Sanders later returned to the team as an ambassador.

For those who like the embeds, it’s not available on this video.