A classic sports axiom goes like this: Champions are made when no one is watching.
The most important time of year, especially for football players, is the offseason. It’s a time to refresh bodies that are beaten down over a grueling season, and more importantly, a time to improve on the little things that make players go from good to great.
Coming out of Bellville High School in Texas, Sanders was only rated as a two-star by both Rivals and Scout. Sanders chose to play college football at Southern Methodist University over programs like TCU, Kansas and Houston.
At SMU, Sanders developed into a two-time All-Conference USA performer, culminating in a senior season in which he caught 98 passes for 1,339 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Sanders in the third round, 82nd overall, during the 2010 NFL Draft; it was the same year they selected Antonio Brown in the sixth round. Sanders went on to have moderate success in Pittsburgh, before becoming a free agent signing of the Denver Broncos in 2014.
Sanders went on to become a two-time AFC Pro Bowl selection in 2014 and 2016, and he became Super Bowl champion with the Peyton Manning-led Broncos. He posted three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons before losing half of 2017 due to an ankle injury.
With Case Keenum as the new quarterback in Denver, you can believe Sanders will be taking his own advice, preparing for a strong comeback in 2018 alongside fellow wide receivers Demaryius Thomas, Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton.
Hard work happens when no one is looking.
Ahead of NFL training camp, Emmanuel Sanders knows that better than anyone.