Detroit Lions unveil statue of Barry Sanders outside of Ford Field
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Detroit Lions recognized arguably the greatest running back in NFL history on Sunday. In Wichita, there would be no argument.
Barry Sanders, who grew up in Wichita, attending OK Elementary, Hadley Middle School and Wichita North High before winning the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma State and reaching superstardom with the Lions, was honored with a statue by the team with which he spent his entire 10-year NFL career.
Sanders retired after the 1998 season, when he was 30 and appeared on his way to breaking - or shattering - the NFL rushing record. He abruptly left the sport, and that record, held when Sanders retired by Walter Payton, and eventually surpassed by Emmitt Smith.
Sanders ranks fourth on the career rushing yards list with 15,269 yards.
Sanders won the 1997 NFL MVP award and was named a Pro Bowl player (the NFL’s equivalent of an all-star) in all 10 of his seasons. He became the first player to record five seasons of at least 1,500 rushing yards. He made first-team All-Pro six times and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004, his first year of eligibility.
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