Deion Sanders is one of the greatest athletes to ever sign a professional contract. For 14 NFL seasons, ‘Primetime’ was an eight-time First-Team All-Pro defensive back who nabbed 53 interceptions and returned nine for touchdowns. As a returner, he took nine total kicks — three kickoffs and six punts — for scores, which ranks sixth in NFL history.
On the MLB diamond, he hit for a career .263 average and stole 186 bases over his nine-year career in the major leagues. In 1997, he finished second in the National League swiping 56 bags in 115 games for the Cincinnati Reds. The two-time All-American playing for the Florida State Seminoles has big shoes to fill, but his son, three-star cornerback Shilo Sanders, is ready to chase down his father’s legacy.
The 61st-ranked cornerback in the country, according to 247Sports, isn’t the biggest or flashiest prospect to ever join the Southeastern Conference, but after leading his Trinity Christian School team from Cedar Hill, Texas to back-to-back TAPPS Division II state championships, it’s safe to say Shilo Sanders knows just what it means to thrive in primetime like his old man.
On Tuesday night, Sanders decided to pass on offers from his father’s alma mater, Florida State, as well as Colorado State, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee and UCF and decided to commit to play college football for the South Carolina Gamecocks via Twitter.
Shilo is the second of Deion’s sons to play Division I college football following Deion Sanders Jr., who earned second-team All-American Athletic Conference honors as a kick returner in 2014 playing for the SMU Mustangs.
At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Shilo Sanders excelled at wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner for Trinity Christian. The 2019 Under Armour All-American benefitted from having his younger brother, quarterback Shedeur Sanders, slinging him passes the last two years. In the state title game, Shedeur, who’s already receiving Division I offers as a pro-style quarterback, connected with his older brother for a 20-yard touchdown in their 49-24 win over Austin Regents.
If the stars align, Shedeur Sanders could ultimately join his older brother in Columbia in a few years, too. Shedeur accompanied Shilo on an official visit to the University of South Carolina back in October.
“I liked it a lot. I didn’t know all that was in South Carolina, like how it was,” Shedeur said after the visit. “I just thought of it as another school. Whenever I visited, it just really opened my eyes into a different way.”
The decision to attend a major SEC school isn’t too surprising given the Sanders family’s high-profile father. Coincidentally, Deion Sanders is a big advocate for Under Armour, which happens to sponsor both South Carolina and Trinity Christian.
The high-stepping flash that Shilo’s dad brought to the football field has found its way down through the pipeline, too.
Sanders joins head coach Will Muschamp’s 21st-ranked recruiting class along with five-star defensive tackle Zacch Pickens, four-star quarterback Ryan Hilinski, and four-star defensive end Joseph Anderson. On the back end, Sanders becomes the third cornerback of a class that includes Cameron Smith (Blythewood, SC) and John Dixon (Tampa, FL) and will look to improve on South Carolina football’s 7-6 campaign in 2018.
Shilo Sanders has a lot of polishing to do as a defensive back before he’ll make a massive impact for the Gamecocks, but with his Hall of Fame father giving him a few pointers along the way, the sky is the limit for this kid.