Former Hawkeye Sanders is aiming big in the NFL

Sept. 20, 2007

Editor’s note — The following article about former University of Iowa star Bob Sanders was written by John Oehser of and published on the team’s website on Thursday, Sept. 20.

by John Oehser,

Former University of Iowa safety Bob Sanders is fast becoming one of the NFL’s most dynamic players and one of its biggest defensive stars. Now in his fourth season with the defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, Sanders is aiming big and aspires to “change the way safety is played.”

Sanders’ ability, Colts President Bill Polian said, stems from a rare combination of not only speed and strength, but power rarely seen not only in football, but any sport.

“He packs incredible punch,” Polian said this week. “I’ve often said if he was not a football player it’s very likely he would be a Heavyweight contender — even at 5-feet-8, 5-feet-9. One punch from him would knock you senseless. I can’t imagine being in the ring with him as quick as he is and explosive as he is. He knocks people backwards. On top of that, he plays with a frenzy, an excitement, that is almost unmatched. It’s rare. Coach (Kirk) Ferentz at Iowa — who I respect greatly and is one of the outstanding people in coaching – told us when we were getting ready to draft Bob that there were times they held him out of practice because he practiced with such intensity that he would injure the other kids or himself. He’s just a rare combination of speed, power and love for the game. That’s infectious, too.”

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