Demond “Bob” Sanders was born on 24 February, 1981 in Erie, Pennsylvania. Bob Sanders is an American football safety for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. Bob Sanders played college football at the University of Iowa. Bob Sanders was named AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and is known for being the integral part of the Colts’ postseason defense that led the team to a victory in Super Bowl XLI. Nicknamed “The Hitman” because of his hard hits and tackles. Another nickname that has stuck is “The Sandman” because of his last name.
Born with a name Demond that was difficult for many to pronounce correctly, Bob Sanders asked his mother if his name could be changed. Bob Sanders’ mother suggested “Bob” as a nickname, and the name stuck. Bob Sanders’ parents are Jean and Marion Sanders.
Bob Sanders attended Erie Central High School as a freshman before transferring to Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie, Pennsylvania and was a student and a letterman in football as a running back and as a safety. In football, he was a 4-year letterman, a 2-time All-Conference selection. As a junior, he was a 3rd-team All-State selection. As a senior, he was a team captain, and a 1st team All-State selection and finished his senior season with 900 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns while leading his team to a 13-1 record and a trip to the state championship game. Bob Sanders graduated from Cathedral Preparatory School in 2000. Bob Sanders also had 7 sacks in a high school state championship. Bob Sanders also kick boxed during his childhood.
Bob Sanders was highly recruited out of high school (Cathedral Preparatory School) due to his lack of size, but he was offered and accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Iowa. Bob Sanders recorded 12 tackles and forced a fumble in his 1st career start against Wisconsin, and he was named Honourable Mention All-Big Ten as a freshman. In 2001, Bob Sanders started 11 games and led Iowa in tackles, garnering him the nickname “Hitman.”
Bob Sanders fully enforced his nickname on the practice field at Iowa during practice drills as a freshman; he was such a physical player that during tackling drills, most of his teammates walked to the back of the player line if they knew they were going to have to go against Bob Sanders. Bob Sanders was eventually taken out of specific full-contact drills after he separated the shoulder of running back Fred Russell during one play.
As a junior, Bob Sanders helped lead Iowa to its 1st undefeated conference season in 80 years and was a key part of the 5th best rushing defense in the country. Bob Sanders started 12 games and made several key plays for the 2002 Hawkeyes. Bob Sanders blocked a Purdue field goal attempt which was returned for an Iowa touchdown, resulting in a potential 10-point difference as Iowa narrowly defeated Purdue, 31-28. Bob Sanders also forced a fumble in the 2nd half of a game against Michigan as Iowa was clinging to a 1 point lead. Iowa scored a touchdown and cruised to a 34-9 victory. The Hawkeyes compiled an 11-2 record and shared the Big Ten title in 2002 along with Ohio State, the eventual BCS National Champion in that year. Bob Sanders was named 1st-Team All-Big 10 and a 4th-Team All-American.
Bob Sanders was issued the number 33 at Iowa because his high school number, 20, was unavailable when he was a freshman. When the player wearing No. 20 left the team, he requested to change his jersey, but was prevented from doing so because his No. 33 jersey had become quite popular in the replica jersey market.
Bob Sanders was hampered early in his senior season by a foot injury. Bob Sanders returned to score his 1st career touchdown against Illinois on a fumble return. In his final home game against Minnesota, Bob Sanders recorded 16 tackles and forced 3 fumbles as he was named the Big 10 defensive player of the week. Bob Sanders led the nation in forced fumbles in 2003. Bob Sanders was named Iowa’s defensive team captain and MVP after the season. Bob Sanders was named 1st-Team All-Big 10 for the 3rd consecutive year, and he was named a 2nd-Team All-American.
Bob Sanders recorded 348 tackles in his career at Iowa and became a fan favourite due to his heavy hits and relentless play. Bob Sanders graduated from Iowa in 2003, majoring in African-American World Studies.
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