Barry Sanders was born July 16, 1968.
Sanders was Thurman Thomas' backup in his first two years at Oklahoma State. When Thomas went to the NFL in 1988, Sanders rushed for 2,628 yards on 7.6 yards per carry. He rushed for more than 300 yards four times and averaged more than 200 a game. Sanders won the Heisman Trophy and declared for the 1989 NFL draft, where he was selected third overall by the Detroit Lions.
Sanders rushed for 1,470 yards and 14 touchdowns, the second most in the NFL that year, and won the Rookie of the Year award.
1997 was Sanders best season, when he became a member of the 2,000-yard rushing club. After gaining only 53 yards on the ground after his first two games, Sanders rushed for 2,000 yards in the final 14 games of the season.
Sanders was named first team All-Pro eight times from 1989–1991 and 1993–1997, and won NFL MVP in '97.
When he announced his retirement in 1999, it was somewhat controversial since he was still under a large contract with the Lions, and had plenty left in the tank.
During the 10 years that Sanders played for the Lions, they won the NFC Central twice, making the playoffs five times in that span.
Sanders retired as the NFL's second leading rusher, and was later surpassed by Emmitt Smith.