Barry Sanders, a quiet man with an electrifying running style, earned the title of greatest college football player of all-time in USA TODAY balloting.
Former Oklahoma State running back Sanders received 85% of the vote to knock off Pittsburgh great Tony Dorsett in the head-to-head championship meeting.
Sanders never had less than 72% of the vote in any of his weekly matchups. He took down Mike Singletary, Dave Rimington, Keith Jackson, Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker and Charles Woodson to reach the final.
More than 30,000 votes were cast in the USA TODAY’s weekly matchups, which began on Aug. 31.
As a college player, Sanders, 51, is primarily known for holding the NCAA record of 2,628 yards, set in 1988. He scored 37 touchdowns. If Oklahoma State’s Holiday Bowl win over Wyoming is also considered, he finished with 2,850 yards rushing and 42 rushing touchdowns. He averaged 7.6 yards per carry in that 1988 Heisman Trophy-winning season.
Used also as a punt and kick returner, Sanders set college football season records with 3,248 total yards, 234 points, 39 touchdowns, 37 rushing touchdowns, five consecutive 200-yard games. He scored two or more touchdowns in 11 consecutive games. He scored at least three touchdowns nine times.